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HANDBOOK OF INDIAN AGRICULTURE 



HANDBOOK, 



OP 



INDIAN AGRICULTWB 



BY 

NITYA GOPAL MUKERJI, M.A 

Holland Gold Medallist of the Royal Agricultural Collie, Oirencetter (England) 

Fellow of the Highland and Agricultural Society (Scotland) 

and Professor of Agriculture and Agricultural Chemistry^ Civil Engineering 

College, Sibpur (Bengal) 



THIRD EDITION, REYIHBP 



"Dl&COVEKIEft MIDI IN THE CULTIVATION OF THI EARTH ARK NOT MERELY FOR TH1 Will 
AND COUNTRY IK WHICH THEY ARE D8VBLOFID, BUT TH1Y MAY Bl OON8ID1RID AS iXTtHDIlia 
TO rOTDRS AQI8, AND AS ULTIMATELY TENDING TO B1NEFTT THB WHOL1 RA01, At 
AFKORDIHd saRSLSTBNCg FOR GENERATIONS TO OOMK, AS MULTIPLYING UF1, AND HOT ONLY 
MULTIPLYING LIFE, BUT LIKEWISE PROVIDING KOR ITS ENJOYMENT." SlR HUMPHREY DAYf 



CALCUTTA 

THACKEB, 8PINK & CO 
1915 



PRINTED BY 
THACKBR, SPINK AND CO., CALCUTTA. 



DEDICATED 

TO 

THE HON'BLE MR. CHARLES EVELYN ARBUTHNOT 

WILLIAM OLDHAM 

OF THE INDIAN CIVIL SERVICE, 

LATE DIRECTOR OF AGRICULTURE, BENGAL 

AS A TOKEN 

OF 

HIGH ESTEEM AND DEEP GRATITUDE 



PUBLISHERS' NOTE TO THIRD EDITION. 

THE Second Edition of this popular book sold out 
very rapidly. The publishers have again to record the 
splendid generosity of the anonymous Editor who has 
again his vservices and brought the book up-to-date 
in accord with the most recent progress of Science. 



PREFACE ,TO FIRST EDITION. 



THE publication of the Sibpur Lectures in the form 
of a Handbook was found necessary owing to the want 
of a text-book on the whole subject of Indian Agricul- 
ture suitable for the use of advanced students. It is 
riot possible to learn agriculture from a text-book, apart 
from a farm, and to learn the subject in a systematic 
manner, a museum and a laboratory are also necessary. 
Even one passing out of an agricultural college which 
is equipped with a farm, laboratory, and museum, and 
possessing a thorough knowledge of a text-book, must 
be prepared to buy his experience, either by apprentice- 
ship in another person's farm, or by losing money on 
his own, for a year or two, before he can expect to 
acquire confidence in himself, his crops and his methods. 
Book-knowledge and college-education must be supple- 
mented by detailed experience in that particular depart- 
ment of agriculture which one chooses to take up, in 
any particular locality, before one can expect to be a 
successful farmer. A book, however, is a valuable aid to 
the student and also to the man engaged in planting 
or farming. The Handbook' of Indian Agriculture 
pretends to little originality. Facts which now lie 
scattered in hundreds of Reports, Notes, Monographs, 
Ledgers and Journals, have been brought together here 
in one volume and treated in a systematic manner. But 
even as a compilation the author hopes, that it will 
prove a useful companion to planters and students of 
agriculture generally. 

CIVIL ENGINEERING COLLEGE, SIBPUR, 
The Uth August, 1901. 

N. G. MUKERJL 



PUBLISHERS' NOTE TO SKCOND RDITION. 



THE lamented death of the talented author of this 
book took place while the final pages were being passed 
for press. The latter Chapters in consequence have 
been deprived of the benefit of his personal labours. 
The work of correction and revision was, however, most 
kindly undertaken by a leading authority on the subject, 
and the work carried through with great skill in the 
midst of trying and onerous public duties. This gentle- 
man, who prefers to remain anonymous, has enabled the 
publishers to produce a second edition of a volume 
which has already attained a considerable popularity, 
and which they hope will open up a further field of 
utility in the present edition. 



CONTENTS. 



INTRODUCTION 



Page. 

.. 1 



PART I-SOILS, 

I. Geological Strata 

II. Surface Geology of Bengal Districts 

III Formation of Soils 

IV. Physical Classification of Soils ... 

V. Chemical Classification of Soils. . . 

VI. Chemical Classification of Indian Soils 

VII. Physical Properties of Soils 

VIII. Sunlight, Rain and Hail 

TX- Fertility and Barrenness... 



11 
19 
24 
30 
35 
44 
53 
60 
67 



PART II-IMPLBMKNTS. 

X. Theories Underlying Cultivation .. ..70 

XI. Motive Power or Prime Movers .. ... 77 

XII. Ploughs and Ploughing ... ... ... 92 

XIII. Other Cultivation Appliances ... ... ... 108 

XIV. Theories Under) ying the Question of Irrigation ... 114 
XV. Water- Lifts ... . ... .. ... 120 

XVI. Other Agricultural Implements ... ... ...136 

XVII. Equipments of Farms ... .. ... ...189 

PART III-CROPS. 

XVIII. Botanical Classification of Crops ... ...143 

XIX. Economic Classification of Crops ... ... 147 

XX. Chemical Composition of the Principal Crops ... 149 

XXI. Agricultural Statistics ... ... ... 151 

XXII. Systems of Farming ... ... ... ...153 

XXIII. Rotation of Crops ... ... ... ...159 

XXIV. Rice ... ... ... ... ... 164 

XXV. Paddy Husking ... ., ^ ...179 

XXVI. Wheat ... ... ... ... ... 185 

XXVII. Barley ... ... .. ... ... 190 

XXVIII. Oats ... ... ... ... ... 192 

XXIX. Bhutta or Indian Corn ... ... ...193 

XXX. Juar or Great Millet . ' ... ...195 

XXXI. Marua or Ragi and other Lesser Millets... ... 198 

XXXII. Buckwheat ... ... ... ... ... 200 

XXXIII. Pulses ... ... ... ... ... 201 

XXXIV. Oilseeds ... ... ... ... ...206 

XXXV. Mustard and Rape ... ... ... ... 209 

XXXVI. Linseed 212 

XXXVII. Gingelly or Til ... ^ ... ... 124 



Xll CONTENTS. 

PART III CROPS (contd.) Page. 

CHAP. XXXVIII. Sorguja or Niger Oil Seed . ... .. 214 

XXXIX. Castor ... ... ... .. ." 2 15 

,, XL. Ground-nut ... ... ... ... e . 219 

XLL Cocoanut ... ... ... ... ... 221 

XLIL Mahua ... ... ... 223 

., XLIII. Safflower ... ... ... 224 

XLIV. Jute ... ... ... ... ... 226 

t XLV. Deccan or Bombay Hemp ... ... ... 232 

,, XLVI. Sunn-Hemp ... ... ... .. 234 

XLVII. Rhea ... ... ... ..." 2 35 

XLVIII. Cotton ... ... ... %i . 240 

* XLIX. Aloe Fibres ... ... ... ... 246 

L. Other Fibre Crops ... ... 248 

kl. Pineapple ... ... ... 250 

LII. Plantains ... ... ... ^ 251 

LIIL Potato ... ... ... ".]* '" 254 

LIV. Brinjal ... ... ... ... 259 

' " ' 



LVI. Chillies ... ... ... ... 262 

LVIL English Vegetables ... .. ... 261 

LVII1. Carrot, Radish and Sweet Potatoes ... ... 268 

LIX. Turmeric and Ginger ... ... ... 270 

LX. Sugarcane ... ... ... .. ... 272 

LXI. The Date-Sugar ... ... ... ... 287 

LXII. Sugars ... ... ... ... ... 294 

LXIIL Indigo ... ... ... ... ... 298 

LXIV. Tobacco ... ... ... ... ... 393 

LXV. Pan or Betel-leaf ... ... ... .'.311 

LXVI. Betel-nut ... ... ... ... ... 314, 

LXVIL Camphor, Tejpata, and Cinnamon ... ... 315 

LXVIII. Other Spices ... ... ... ...318 

LXIX. Opium ... ... .., ... t 320 

LXX. Tea ...... ... ... .'..' 3 23 

LXXI. Coffee .. .. ... ... ... 328 

LXXII. Vanilla ... ... ... ... ... 333 

LXXIIL Papaya ... ... ... ... ... 336 

LXXIV. Cassava as Famine Food ... ... ...337 

LXXV. Arrowroot ... ... ... ... ... 343 

LXXV 7 !. Bamboo, Grewia, Mat-Grass and Ruisa Grass .. 344 

LXXVII. Oranges ... ... ... ... ... 346 

LXXVIII. India-rubber and Gutta-Percha ... ... ... 348 

LXXIX. Sericulture ... ... ... ... ... 351 

LXXX. Lac-culture ... ... ... ... 379 

LXXXL Apiculture ... .. ... ... ... 382 

LXXXIL Propagation of Trees ... ... ... ...383 

LXXXIII. Agricultural Calendar for Lower Bengal . ...392 

PART IV MANURES. 

LXXXIV. General Summary . . ... ... ... 395 

LXXXV. Exhaustion, Recuperation and Absorption ... ...400 

LXXXVI. Nitrogenous Manures ... ... ... ... 407 

LXXXVII. Phosphatic Manures ... ... ... ... 426 

LXXXVIII. Potash Manures 4 ... ... ... ...431 

LXXXIX. Calcareous Manures ... ... ... ... 437 



CONTENTS. 



XUl 



PART IV~ 
CHAP. XC. Gypsum and Salt 

PART V-METHODS OF ANALYSIS. 

XCI. General Remarks 

XCIL The Standard Acid and Alkali ... 

XCIIl. Analysis of Soil 

XCIV. Analysis of Bone-meal 

XCV. Analysis of Super 

,, XCVI. Analysis of Nitrate of Soda and Saltpetre , 

XCVII. Analysis of Oil-cake ... 

XCVIII. Analysis of Silage, Grass, etc. ,,. 

XCIX. Water Analysis 



PART VI-CATTLE. 



0. 

CI. 

GIL 

cm. 

CIV. 

CV. 

CVI. 

C\ 7 II. 

CVIII. 

CIX. 

ex. 

CXI. 

CXTI. 

CXIII. 

CXIV. 

cxv. 

CXVI. 



Page. 
.. 441 



446 
, 448 

450 

455 

458 

, 462 

. 465 

. 470 

. 472 



Buffaloes ... ... ... ... ... 474 

Oxen ... ... ... ... ... 476 

Goat-keeping ... . ... .,, 485 

Calculation of weight of Livestock ... ... 485 

Poultry-keeping ... ... ... 486 

Diseases of Cattle ... ... ... ... 490 

The Theory of Healtn in Relation to Foods and Fodders 495 

Utility of Growing Fodder Crops ... ... 499 

Fodder Crops ... ... ... ... 500 

Silos ... ^ ... ... ... 505 

Proteid Ratio ... ... ... ... 50$ 

Mammal Value of Food-stuffs ... ... ... 513 

Milk ... ... ... ... ... 515 

Cream and Butter .. .. ... ... 518 

Cheese-making ... ,.. ... ... 521 

Bacon and Ham-Curing .. ... ... 525 

Curing Sheep and Other Skins ... .,, ...527 



PART VII-INSECT AND FUNGUS PESTS. 

CXVII. General Remedies against Pests and Parasites ... 629' 

CXVIII. Agricultural Zoology ... ... ... ... 533 

CXIX. Insects ... ... ... ... ... 538 

CXX. Locusts ... ... ... ... ... 549 

CXXI. Grasshoppers and Crickets ... ... ...552 

CXXII. Granary Pests ... ... ... ... 553 

CXXIII. Paddy Pests... ... ... ... ...555 

CXXIV. Cut-Worms ... ... ... ... ... 557 

CXXV. The Sugarcane Borer ... ... ... ...559 

CXXVI. White-ants and other Ants ... ... ...561 

CXXVII. The Mango Weevil .. ... .. ... 563 

CXXVIII. The Indian Golden- Apple-Beetle,.. ... ...564 

CXXIX. Plant-Lice and Scale-Insects ... ... ...565 

CXXX. Insects Injurious to Indian Crops ... .. 668 

CXXXI. Zymotic Diseases and Remedies for Them ... ... 570 

CXXXII. Agricultural Bacteriology ... ... ...573 

CXXXIII. Dairy Bacteriology ... ... ... ..'. 579 

CXXXIV. Soil Bacteriology ... ... ... ...582 

CXXXV. Vaccines and their Preparation ... ... ..: 585 



XIV CONTENTS, 

PART VII-INSECT AND FUNGUS PESTS-(conM.) JP*ge. 

CHAP. CXXXVI. The Higher Fungi ... ... ... ...591 

CXXXVIL Mushrooms ... ... .. ,.. ... 598 

PART VIII FAMINES. 

CXXXVIII. General Remarks on Indian Famines ... ... 599 

OXXXIX. The System of Land Revenue as Affecting the Question 6O2 

, CXL. Measures of Protection and Relief ... ...606 

CXLI. Agricultural Education ... ... ... 610 



INTRODUCTION. 



[Progress of agricultural improvement within recent years ; Favourable 
report on work of Saidapet College ; Agricultural improvements already 
introduced, manifold ; The system of Southern India worth following ; The 
aim of the Handbook ; No agricultural depression in India ; Resources in 
normal years on the increase ; Gentlemen farmers in India ; Cultivation by 
partnership; Special courses of farming by expenditure of capital; Need 
for agricultural education among Ke venue Officers ; Conservatism of Indian 
rtii/fiti; Need for agricultural education in Engineering Colleges ; Canal 
and well irrigation ; Profitableness of canal irrigation to the State as well 
as I'd ///.// ; Knowledge of agricultural science important for Canal Officers ; 
Need of special scheme of agricultural education for agricultural classes ; 
Division of subjects.] 

TiE inauguration of agricultural education in the different 
provinces of India is one of the outcomes of the deliberations of* 
the Famine Commission that was sent out to India at the instance 
of the British Parliament in 1878. The Famine Commission sub- 
mitted their Report in 1880, and during the period since that date 
the recommendations of this Commission have been kept steadily in 
view by Government, and given effect to, one after another. 
Canals and railways, the most important measures of protection 
against famine, have been extended since then with great rapidity, 
and a definite scheme of irrigation for the different provinces 
adopted. The systems of land administration and police admin- 
istration have been greatly improved, chiefly with a view to give 
security of possession to cultivators, and to obtain correct statis- 
tics and prompt information regarding agricultural conditions and 
agricultural depressions. By the institution of agricultural ex- 
periments and agricultural education, a foundation has been laid 
for ascertaining facts with a view to increasing and improving 
the produce of land, and diffusing agricultural knowledge among 
the cultivating classes. The establishment of the Pusa Research 
Institute, of a College of Agriculture in each province, and the 
gradual institution in every province of a practical system 
of agricultural education in villages, are the most recent develop- 
ments. The establishment of semi-official agricultural associations 
in district after district is a further means of making the results 
of agricultural experiments achieved in experimental farms known 
to the actual cultivator. I have endeavoured to remove the want 
of a text-book by publishing a book on agriculture in Bengali and 
one in Uriya, suitable for use among cultivating classes. 

M, HA 1 



2 HANDBOOK OP AGRICULTURE. 

So satisfactory has been the result of agricultural education 
in Madras, where it has been the longest established, that a com- 
mittee appointed by Government to report on the working of the 
agricultural department and the agricultural college of Madras, 
attached the highest importance to the agricultural education 
imparted in the college and the schools, and they devoted more 
than half their report to this subject. 

It is often said that the native agricultural practices are the 
best for India and that they are not capable of improvement. I 
was surprised to find during my tours of 1898 and 1904 to 1906, 
that the native agricultural practices of the Madras, Bombay and 
the Central Provinces are far in advance of those of Bengal and 
the United Provinces of India. If agricultural education has been 
found beneficial in the Madras Presidency, where the existing 
system of agriculture is really superior, how much more beneficial 
will it be for Bengal, which is so backward ! We have not only 
to benefit from our knowledge of western science and western 
practices, but we have also to learn the superior practices followed 
by the non-Aryan races of South India. Indeed, Indian agri- 
culture has been actually vastly improved by our contact with the 
West. European planters have been the means of introducing 
important innovations. In the most out-of-the-way places of 
India we find European planters imperceptibly and noiselessly 
carrying on agricultural experiments and improvements. We find 
them growing the most delicate English vegetables even during 
the hot weather by cultivating them in trenches. Some of our 
commonest articles of food and fodder have been introduced by 
Europeans. Maize, oats, potatoes, tobacco, cabbages, beet, papaya, 
the superior varieties of plantains, lucerne and guinea-grass, are 
all exotics. Indeed, there are few English cereals, root-crops, 
vegetables and fruits that have not been introduced with success 
into India, and European farm implements are in common use in 
some plantations. It is difficult to think of any agricultural 
experiments that have not been already tried, successfully or un- 
successfully, by European planters. Even the steam-plough, which 
is still considered an expensive luxury in Europe, has been tried 
by planters within my own knowledge. 

The aim of this book will be to consider how soils can be made 
to yield more than they do, how irrigation can be made possible 
for the poor raiyat, how to extend the cultivation of drought- 
resisting crops, how to preserve, without damage, food and fodder, 
t^he excess production of one year, for years of scarcity, how to 
organise measures of protection against famine. These pages wiU 
be mainly devoted to the consideration of the food and other 
necessaries of life or what can become food, etc., for the masses. 
They will discuss only such appliances and machinery as can be 
used by the raiyat individually or collectively. They will analyse 
only such manures as may be placed within easy reach of 
the raiyat. They will explain ftie means of getting rid of, and of 



INTRODUCTION, 



avoiding, pests and parasites ttat are so destructive to ordinary 
crops. In one word, this handbook hopes to be able to be a guide, 
philosopher and friend, to the actual tiller of the soil and be the 
means of ameliorating his condition. Seventy per cent, of the 
people of India live directly by farming, and it is of paramount 
importance to study those questions which affect so large a pro- 
portion of the population of India. In no other country in the 
world does such a large proportion of the population depend on 
agriculture. In England only seven and-a-half per cent, of the 
population live by agriculture. 

The agricultural condition of India is not to be considered as 
being in a specially depressed condition,, as it is in some countries 
of Europe. Except for the periodic recurrence of famines, local 
or general, which has always occurred and still occurs in India, 
and particularly within recent years, the agricultural population 
of India may be regarded as being in a prosperous condition. The. 
area under cultivation is steadily increasing ; exports of food-grains, 
which represent surplus stocks, have been also increasing, notwith- 
standing increase of population, and the rental and revenue from 
land are growing. There are few cases in India of lands going 
out of cultivation, and farmers being ruined and emigrating to 
foreign countries in quest of a living. In spite of his debts, which 
are a hereditary thing with the Indian raiyat, we do not find many 
cultivators alienating their holdings and going in for other trades. 
Many crafts and trades have suffered of late years, but not agri- 
culture. The agricultural produce of other lands has not been 
able to compete with India's own products, and she has always 
more and more to spare for the needs of other countries. The 
famine of 1897 in Bengal went to show that the resources of the 
masses had increased of late years. The failure of crops all over 
India since 1896 has been unprecedented, and, if this had taken 
place twenty years or even ten years earlier, the havoc among the 
agricultural population would have been terrible. But the re* 
sources of the country have been developing steadily for over half 
a century. It is a significant fact that, during the sixty-one years 
ending the 31st March 1896, India imported foreign merchandise 
to the value of Rs. 1,931,00,00,000, while during the same period the 
value of her exports amounted to as much as Rs. 3,064,00,00,000. 
Her exports therefore exceeded her imports by Rs. 1,133,00,00,000. 
Of course, the whole of this does not represent so much into the 
pockets of the Indian peasantry. But that Indians, and especially 
Indian cultivators, have materially benefited by this excess of 
export of indigenous produce can be inferred from the fact that, 
during the same period, the balance of import of gold over export 
was of the value of Rs. 1,46,68,00,000. Of this only Rs. 2,44,40,000 
worth of gold was used during the sixty-one years in the mint for 
coinage, and the balance of gold to the value of Rs. 1,44,00,00,000 
must have been absorbed by the people, chiefly in making articles 
of jewellery, which are pawned largely in famine times. To take 



4: HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

a concrete example like jute, at the price of Rs. 10 a maund, fifteen 
maunds being taken as the average produce per acre, the raiyats' 
share of the outturn may be regarded as Rs. 100 per acre, while the 
remaining Rs. 50 are shared by the Indian middleman and the 
European exporter. Poor as the Indian raiyat has always been, his 
poverty is not so intense now as it used to be, and he can afford 
to spend money on little luxuries which his forefathers never 
dreamt of enjoying. The ambition of the landless labourer is to 
buy land and to become an agriculturist. The man who earns 
Rs. 10 or Rs. 12 a month in a Calcutta mill also looks forward to 
saving enough money for buying land and cattle and settling 
down as an agriculturist. Surely agriculture pays, and it is not 
in that depressed condition in wfiich it happens to be in some 
countries in Europe. 

Let me not be misunderstood. I do not mean agriculture 
will pay a ' gentleman/ It is only by dint of hard labour and 
frugality that the Indian cultivator makes agriculture pay him. 
If a gentleman were to employ labourers and go in for ordinary 
farming, he will find these labourers (so industrious when working 
for themselves) sleeping over his work and accomplishing very 
little when pretending to be doing work actually in his presence. 
He can never compete with the actual cultivators in ordinary 
agriculture, as by their frugality and industry they will be able to 
get their outturn at a smaller cost and thus undersell him. He 
may succeed with a new crop, but only for a time. When the 
cultivator finds out how he grows it, and where he sells it, he (the 
cultivator) will grow it at a smaller cost and put it on the market 
at a smaller price. I have taught scientific methods of sericulture 
during eleven years to a large number of persons, among whom are 
a number of actual cocoon-rearers. It is these latter alone who 
are carrying out the new methods with profit, while all the educated 
men who have gone in for it have lost money. In a climate like 
that of India, agricultural industry is unsuitable for men who 
cannot be in the field with their labourers. 

Capitalists and educated men can derive profit from agri- 
culture by acting as middlemen, finding land, seed, manure and 
appliances for cultivators, and using their labour and their cattle 
and sharing with them the profits. Cultivation by partnership 
is indeed a well-recognised system in Bengal, and, il trained agri- 
culturists go in for it largely, this system may prove to be of the 
highest bfehefit in introducing superior staples and superior methods 
4 of cultivation. One has, say, five-hundred bighas of land. He 
gets some Cultivators of the neighbourhood to go in partnership 
with him and to give him half the produce. He gives them seed, 
well-selected and of superior kinds ; he finds them superior appli- 
ances for irrigation, hoeing, thrashing and winnowing ; he buys 
for them manures, and he takes half the crop for himself. He 
knows how to store his crop secure against insects, and he sells it 
for seed again at twice the price at which he would have sold his 



'INTRODUCTION. 5 

crop at harvest time. This would be an improvement over the 
ordinary system of cultivation by partnership. 

Then, by the employment of capital, one can compete suc- 
cessfully with cultivators in such agricultural, or rather industrial 
pursuits, as require a large outlay at the start. Two graduates 
of Saidapet College are making large profits by conducting dairies. 
The manufacture of cheese, butter and ghi, with appliances that 
cannot be ordinarily purchased by cultivators, would prove 
remunerative to a man with a capital. The method of sugar 
manufacture devised by Mr. S. M. Hadi, of Cawnpore, can be 
adopted in practice by men with capital of a few thousand rupees. 
Fruit-farming also would probably pay well in suitable situations. 
Fruits and vegetables can be preserved by a rapid process of de- 
siccation. This is an industry which, properly developed, is likely 
to have an important future before it. The abundance of one year 
can be preserved from rotting for consumption in another year. 

But some of the students of the agricultural classes will have 
to do with agriculture and agriculturists in the capacity of revenue 
officers. The knowledge of agriculture is of great value for reve- 
nue officers and district engineers. When the Director of the 
Agricultural Department, or the Reporter of Economic Products, 
or any expert officer of Government, seeks any information of an 
agricultural character, or any samples, he usually refers to district 
officers for such information or samples. The district officers 
consult their deputies or the district engineers, and they (the dis- 
trict officers) usually find out how ignorant their subordinate 
officers are regarding the circumstances and the wants of the cul- 
tivators. Revenue officers and district engineers with an agri- 
cultural training are likely to acquire some sympathy for the 
masses of the population who are employed in producing the staff 
of life, and whose interests these officers are now too apt to forget 
or to ignore. A mere literary and scientific training gives one 
little knowledge of the immediate surroundings, in the midst of 
which one's lot is likely to be cast in actual life, and little aptitude 
in dealing with such surroundings, in an official capacity. The 
agricultural statistics which ought to be of great value in estimating 
the resources of the people in times of famine, being compiled 
by men who have very little practical acquaintance with land 
and its produce, and who, owing partly to the very education they 
have received, are accustomed to take very little interest in such 
questions, were found to be of little use during the last famine in 
Bengal. The famine programmes, annually prepared in antici- 
pation of famine by district engineers, were found wide of the 
mark and were, in practice, ignored. The district staffs might 
well in future be manned by officers who have received not only a 
literary and scientific education, but who have been accustomed 
to see and handle the things with which they will be ordinarily 
surrounded in their practical life. Such officers will be able to 
draw up famine programmes in an intelligent manner after ascer- 



6 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

taining local conditions, and enquiring of the cultivators them- 
selves if they had any works to suggest, which might protect 
certain tracts against failure. In certain localities, I know of cul- 
tivators who have been accustomed to cut across roads and bunds 
admitting water into their fields, for the protection of their crops. 
They have been fruitlessly applying for years to the district 
engineer for a sluice-gate here, a channel there ; and for permission 
to open a lock-gate a little earlier or a little later than usual, and so 
on. Having an eye to the protection of crops, officers with a rural 
training will be able to shape their famine programme and their 
annual programme in the interest of the cultivators. As men 
in charge of Government estates, officers with agricultural training 
will recognise the position of Government as a model zemindar for 
the khas mahal raiyats, and they will know how to utilise the ' ' Khas 
Mahal Improvement Fund ' ' to the best advantage. Govern- 
ment can depend upon their initiating the ' ; khas mahal ' ' tenants, 
under their charge, to at least one permanent improvement, for 
which they will be always grateful to Government and to the offi- 
cers concerned, specially in times of famine. If, for instance, 
they can induce the ' ' khas mahal ' ' tenants under their charge 
to grow tapioca roots, and teach them to use the roots for food 
and to extract flour out of them, they will have done some perma- 
nent good, and they will have saved those tenants perhaps for all 
times from the jaws of famine. As managers of Court of Wards 
estates, officers with agricultural training will have ample oppor- 
tunities of utilising the allotment annually made for agricultural 
improvements, by introducing well-thought-out reforms. They 
will find in most places it is some practicable method of irrigation 
that the raiyat needs, and, if they can give him a canal here, a well 
there, a windmill somewhere else, and teach him how to lift water 
from small depths and great depths with fairly cheap appliances, 
the outlay they will incur on account of the estate they may happen 
to manage, may protect a certain precarious tract for all time to 
come, from drought and failure of crops. In many parts of Bengal 
where water in wells is available at the driest season within twenty 
or twenty-five feet from the surface, the introduction of the most 
inexpensive method prevalent in the Western Coast of India from 
Dwarka to Eatnagiri of lifting water with hand and foot by means 
of a primitive Persian wheel, would become the means of giving 
an impetus to the cultivation of rabi crops, which are more or less 
ignored in Bengal. 

And the educating influence of such innovations, even on 
the Indian raiyat, who is proverbially conservative, though slow, 
will be lasting. For the raiyat, though conservative, is only obliged 
to be so on account of his poverty. He cannot afford to lose money 
by launching out on mere speculations. But if the benefits of 
some practicable methods are demonstrated persistently de- 
monstrated before his eyes, efven he will be induced to change 
his old ways. Have not the cultivators taken to growing potatoes 



INTRODUCTION, 7 

and tobacco, and using the Behia mill for crushing sugarcane, and 
the microscope for selecting silkworm grain ? You have to treat 
the raiyat with a little patience and you must have confidence in 
your own methods. 

The question of famine in India is mainly a question of irri- 
gation, and to manage irrigation properly, one must have a fairly 
solid knowledge of engineering and of agricultural science. It 
has been observed that the productive power of soil diminishes 
after a number of years where canal water is used too freely for 
the purpose of irrigation, and that localities too freely irrigated 
with canal water, become malarious. The question of well-irri- 
gation is being seriously discussed as probably fraught with greater 
advantage, and along with this must be considered suitable imple- 
ments for lifting water from various depths. 

On the whole, however, there cannot be the slightest doubt 
that canals have proved the best protection against famine. I 
will quote a few figures from the reports of the famine year 
1896-7, to prove that the construction of canals should be under- 
taken, wherever possible, by way of relief work, at any rate, in 
famine times. 

In Bengal the capital outlay on canals up to the close of 
1896-7, had reached a total of Rs. 7,61,23,817. The total length 
of canals in operation was 916 miles, including 738 miles used for 
irrigation, the rest being used for navigation only. There were 
also 2,605 miles of canal distributaries. These were capable of 
irrigating 1,572,005 acres. The receipts for 1896-7 amount to 
Ks. 25,63,047 and the working expenses to Rs. 19,37,142, the net 
revenue being Rs. 6,25,905 against Rs. 2,45,646 and Rs. 1,38,135 
in the two preceding years. The areas actually irrigated from 
these canals in 1896-7 and the two previous years were respectively 
805,387 acres, 579,933 acres and 509,811 acres. The average 
outturn of paddy per acre from canal-irrigated areas may be put 
down at twenty-four maunds, representing sixteen maunds of rice. 
The outturn of grain from the 805,387 acres served by canal water 
may be put down at 12,000,000 maunds. The annual consump- 
tion of grain per individual adult being put down at six maunds, 
the number of adult units directly saved from starvation by canal 
irrigation in Bengal during the famine may be calculated to have 
been two millions in 1896-97. 

The figures for the United Provinces, the Punjab, Sind, 
Bombay and Madras are equally or still more satisfactory. In 
the Punjab the whole of the capital outlay of 841 lakhs of rupees 
has been more than recovered, the net revenue up to the end of 
1896-7, amounting to 865 lakhs of rupees, or taking the interest 
charge of 556 lakhs of rupees into account, the State has already 
recovered 310 lakhs out of the 841 lakhs spent in irrigation works 
in the Punjab. In 1896-7, the gross revenue exceeded 109 lakhs, 
while the working expenses were below 31 lakhs, leaving a net 
profit of about 78J lakhs to the State, which is equivalent to 9*34 



8 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTUBE. 

per cent, on the capital invested. The area irrigated in the Punjab 
in that famine year was 4,621,000 acres, viz., one-fifth of the total 
cultivated area of the province. Of this 1,441,000 acres were 
under wheat (which alone must have saved between three and four 
million persons from starvation). The total quantity of food- 
crops of all kinds raised by canal water in the Punjab in 1896-7 
sufficed to feed over six millions of people or a quarter of the entire 
population of that province. But the area actually irrigated does 
not represent the whole that it is possible to irrigate and grow 
food-grain on. The capital outlay on canal works, though enor- 
mous, represents but a small fraction of the benefit rendered to 
agriculture through their means. The value of the crops raised 
by canal irrigation in the Punjab in 1896-7 alone was estimated 
at 1,508 lakhs of rupees, viz., nearly twice the amount of the whole 
capital outlay incurred from the commencement ; the value per 
acre being estimated at Us. 33, while the water-rate levied was 
Rs. 3-4. The figures for more recent years are still more encour- 
aging, the interest on capital working up to more than ten per 
cent. Even a canal like the Eden Canal in Bengal, which has not 
as yet proved remunerative, has brought immense benefit to the 
country, and the water-rate has been raised lately without any 
opposition worth speaking of, so that profit may be expected in 
future. 

A knowledge of agricultural science will enable one to avoid 
bringing about a deterioration of soil by canal irrigation. Irri- 
gation-water judiciously used adds to the fertility of the soil, while 
injudiciously and lavishly used, it can wash the good gradually 
out of the soil and render the locality unhealthy at the same time. 
The cultivator will take nine inches of water if he can get it, though 
two to six inches according to the season of the year will do him 
more good than nine inches, leaving the fertility of the soil intact, 
and the locality free from malaria. 

It is somewhat unfortunate, however, that in this as in every 
other country, agricultural education is being taken advantage 
of almost exclusively by persons who are not directly interested 
in agriculture. Neither the farm labourer, nor the farmer, nor the 
landed proprietor, cares, as a rule, for agricultural education. 
Agricultural colleges and schools in almost every country are 
crammed either by place-seekers or by town-bred men, who fancy 
they can make their * fortune by scientific farming or by cattle 
ranching. In other countries such men do occasionally turn out 
successful farmers or colonists. But in India the caste system has 
ingrained and stamped in different classes, different abilities and 
disabilities in such an indelible manner, that the priestly and 
writer castes who generally go in for high education are ab initio 
unfit subjects for agricultural training, and the high education they 
go in for makes them less suitable for an agricultural pursuit. 
Their instincts, their habits oibody and of mind, are not suitable 
lor an agricultural occupation. They are eminently fitted for 



INTRODUCTION. 9 

other paths o! life, but not for success in agricultural pursuits. It 
is doubly important therefore for India that the right classes of 
people should be encouraged to receive agricultural education 
that the benefit derived by them may easily filter down to their 
fellow-caste-men in rural tracts. To expect the benefits of agri- 
cultural education to filter down to rural tracts from the prospec- 
tive gardens, farms and plantations that the Bengali or the Maratha 
' gentleman ' may establish, after receiving agricultural education 
of a high order, is a far-fetched hope. Vernacular education, on 
the other hand, has spread so far in rural tracts in Bengal, that 
we can now find many actual cultivators who have passed the 
middle vernacular or even higher examinations. They are quite, 
capable of receiving a systematic training in agriculture, and these 
are the men who will have influence among their fellow-caste-men. 
In dealing with agricultural pupils of the cultivator class a great 
deal of patience, a great deal of sympathy, is at first needed. But 
when once a headway has been made among them, -agricultural 
progress will come directly through their agency. It is therefore 
of great importance to induce, by the offer of suitable scholarships 
or otherwise, sons of bond fide cultivators who have passed at least 
the middle vernacular examinations, to come for special agricultural 
training to a central institution, and then go back to their respective 
villages. Such men will not feel disappointed if they cannot secure 
Government appointments. Training a hundred men of this sort 
by the judicious allotment of a hundred scholarships, will have far 
more effect in ameliorating the agricultural condition of this pro- 
vince than training a dozen university graduates annually, who will 
probably give up all connection with agriculture in disgust, if they 
fail to secure Government appointments. It is by the spread of 
agricultural education rather than by reduction of revenue demand 
or opening of agricultural banks that the question of famine must 
be met. There is no occasion for the raiyat to starve when there 
is a shorter rainfall, but the raiyat does not know how he can help 
himself. He -must be taught. So, while a class has been properly 
established in Bengal for higher training in agriculture given to 
a few University graduates and engineers or surveyors with the 
object of employing them as Government officers in certain special 
capacities in which agricultural knowledge is needed, it must not 
be forgotten that the more important scheme, of giving a thorough- 
ly practical agricultural training in a properly equipped farm, to 
the actual cultivator, is yet to follow. It is the 'want of such a 
scheme of education that is really at the bottom of the small amount 
of practical success the agricultural departments have attained 
hitherto. 

The object of agriculture is the production of food and other 
essential requirements of man, and the aim of the science of agri- 
culture is the production in the best condition, of the greatest 
amount of produce, in the shortest space of time, at the least cost 
and with the smallest deterioration of land. The sciences helpful 



HANDBOOK OV AOBIOTOTtTBE. 



to this end are : (1) Geology and Mineralogy (some knowledge of 
which is required in understanding Part I of this book) ; (2) Mecha- 
nics and Hydrostatics (c/. Part II) ; (3) Botany (c/. Part III) ; (4) 
Chemistry (c/. Parts IV & VII) ; (5) Veterinary Science (c/. Part 
V) ; (6) Zoology (c/. Part VI) ; (7) Bacteriology (c/. Part VI) and 
(8) Political Economy (cf. Part VIII). 



HANDBOOK OF AGKICULTDRE. 



PART I. 
SOILS. 



CHAPTER I. 
GEOLOGICAL STRATA. 

[General character of strata, how formed ; Order definite ; Stratified and 
unstratified rocks ; Strata from below upwards, Lower and Upper Magma ; 
the Azoic rocks ; the Vindhyan system ; the Mesozoic and Neozoic 
epochs ; Recent strata ; Laterite. Strata from top to bottom. Sirnimary.J 

IF we make borings into the earth or study railway cuttings 
by hill-sides, we find the earth and rocks exposed are of different 
character and consistency, and we notice, as a rule, well-marked 
stratifications both in the loose earth and the hard rocks so ex- 
posed. The deepest mine is only about half a mile in depth, and 
so we can study the soils and rocks only of the outer crust of the 
earth. As the rocks, however, do not always occur in horizontal 
layers, and as the crust of the earth has evidently undergone 
violent contortions, we are able actually to study rocks situated 
down to a depth of about twenty miles, on the very surface of the 
earth. In other words, there are rocks on the surface of the earth 
which would have been buried twenty miles deep had not violent 
eruptions brought them up to the surface. The evidences for such 
eruptions are numerous. We find the temperature of the crust 
of the earth increases by about one degree Fahrenheit for every 
fifty-six feet of depth. The deeper we go down in a mine, the warmer 
it is, and we can only imagine how hot it is twenty miles below the 
surface of the earth. It is over 2000F., a temperature at which 
all minerals and rocks must be in a fluid and disturbed condition. 
We have further evidence of this internal heat in hot-springs, 
earthquakes and volcanoes. Earthquakes and volcanic eruptions 



12 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

were very much more violent in past ages than they are now. 
Take, for instance, the Deccan trap formation, two hundred- 
thousand square miles in area and as much as six thousand feet 
deep in some places. The volcanic outbursts that resulted in this 
deposit must have been most fearful. But all over the earth's 
crust we have evidence of contortions and dislocations of the strata 
that form the outer crust of the earth, which point to very great 
heat acting from within the bowels of the earth. This heat 
gradually becoming less, in other words, the earth getting cooler 
and cooler, the disturbances on the earth's surface have also become 
less and less. At one time the heat and the disturbances in the 
shape of earthquakes and dislocations were so great that no plant 
or animal could have lived on the surface of the earth. Gradually 
the surface getting cooler and quieter, plant and animal lives made 
their appearance. But thousands and perhaps millions of years 
elapsed before the surface of the earth became fit for human habit- 
ation. It is supposed that our planet was originally a portion 
of the sun, and that it was spitted out by the sun by a violent 
centrifugal action. This nebulous or fluid mass of burning and 
revolving matter has been gradually getting cooler and cooler 
and solidifying from the surface downwards. The composition of 
the whole of the solid crust of the earth can be studied and even 
of a portion of the fluid ' magma, ' as it is called, lying underneath 
the crust, as volcanic action has exposed to the surface not only 
the solid strata but also the liquid magma below. 

Geologists have found out in the midst of all the contortions 
and dislocations to which the outer crust of the earth has been 
subjected for ages past, that the strata forming the crust occur in a 
certain definite order all over the earth's surface. In England 
these strata occur in beautiful regularity from south-east to north- 
west, the newer formations at the south-east and the older forma- 
tions at the north-west. In other countries although these strata 
do not occur in such regular succession exposed to the surface, 
a similar order can be traced all over the surface of the earth. 

If we study the character of the rocks so exposed in succession, 
either vertically in cuttings or horizontally as we pass from field 
to field, and district to district, we find two classes of rocks, strati- 
fied and unstratified. Unstratified rocks are igneous in origin, i.e., 
thrown up from the burning bowels of the earth. The stratified 
rocks have been formed by the action of rivers, lakes, or the 
sea. When rocks formed by such action have been afterwards 
changed, by heat or by great pressure, they are called metamorphic 
rocks. 

Studying the geological strata from below upwards, we find 
the following order prevailing in the deposition of these strata : 

Tht fir$t f that is, the lowermost stratum, may be called the 
Lowtr Magma. This consists of basic rocks rich in earthy bases 
and oxides of iron. Volcanic 4 action has exposed this deep liquid 
layer to the surface of the earth in the form of Basalt and similar 



GEOLOGICAL STRATA, J3 

rocks. Greenstones and Basalts generally are called trap-rocks 
as they occur in the form of steps on hill-sides. The solidification 
of the Lower Magma has usually taken place after volcanic erup- 
tion on the surface of the earth, and therefore they occur chiefly 
as volcanic rocks. Many of the eruptions which have formed these 
rocks took place in, geologically speaking, fairly recent times, and 
hence the rocks often lie over others, sedimentary and metamor- 
phic, which were formed at an earlier date. All over the plains 
of Deccan occur trap-rocks, usually in horizontal layers of six to 
ninety feet, each layer being a separate lava deposit evidencing 
a succession of volcanic eruptions. The total depth of these suc- 
cessive deposits of trap reaches in some places to 5,000 or 6,000 
feet, and the total area covered by these trap-rocks is about 200,000 
square miles. Soils formed from "decomposition of trap-rocks are 
naturally very fertile, being rich in silica, alumina, iron, lime, 
magnesia, potash, phosphates and soda. * The celebrated black- 
cotton-soil or Eegur of Southern and Central India was formed 
chiefly out of trap-rocks. 

2nd. -The Upper Magma -resting on the Lower Magma is lighter 
and is more largely composed of silica. This stratum is 
therefore called the siliceous or acidic magma. It is mainly pluto- 
nic, that is to say, solidified by slow cooling under pressure, and 
occurs in conseqiience, in the form of coarse-grained crystals com- 
pacted together in the form of granite. The presence of plutonic 
granite is an indication of the earliest geological formation. They 
usually intrude into gneiss and it is sometimes difficult to distin- 
guish between intruded dykes or veins of granite and the older 
metamorphic schists. Veins andr"dykes of granite occur through- 
out the vast metamorphic (or gneissose) rocks of India, all along the 
Himalayas, in the Arravali hills, and also in the Deccan. Granite 
consists of quaitz, mica and felspar, in varying proportions. 
Quartz and mica are not of much value as fertilizers, but felspar is. 
Soils formed out of granite are therefore less fertile than those 
formed out of Basalt. But there are whole hills of feldspathic 
granite near Rajmahal, at the foot of which are some of the most 
fertile tracts of land suitable for rice, melons and mustard. 

The acidic rocks contain sixty to seventy-five per cent, of 
silica, the basic rocks less than fifty per cent. The acidic rocks 
are light, and more infusible, while the basic rocks are very heavy 
and of fine texture, and they are not so infusible. The principal 
acidic rocks are : Granite, Felsite, Obsidian, Pumice, Syenite, 
Trachyte and Pophyrite. The principal basic rocks are Basalt, 
Dokrite, Diorite and Gabbro (containing Diallage and Labradorite). 

3rd The Azote or metamorphic rooks. These consist of gneiss, 
mica-schist and clay-slate, formed by the joint action of sedi- 
mentation in water and compaction by heat or pressure. They 
are called azoic because no trace of life has been discovered in 
them. There are three distinct systems of azoic rocks which from 



14 HANDBOOK OF AOBICULTURE. 

above downwards may be called the Vindhyan, the Sub-meta- 
morphic and the Metamorphic. The Vindhyan system consists 
of sandstones, limestones, shale and iron pyrites, and the fern- 
like (dendritic) markings of earthy manganese oxide which may be 
easily mistaken for fossil plants, are characteristic of this system. 
The Sub-metamorphic system consists of quartzite, sandstone, 
slate, shale and limestone of more crystalline appearance. The 
older and still more crystalline rock which abounds in Southern 
India is called gneiss. More than half the Peninsular area is on 
gneiss. From Cape Comorin to Colgong on the Ganges, a distance 
of 1,400 miles with a mean width of 350 miles or an area of nearly 
500,000 square miles, the land is composed of gneiss or soils 
formed mainly out of gneiss. Patches of newer strata occur here 
and there on the gneiss. The Bundelkhand gneiss is the oldest of 
all. Gneiss also occurs in the Himalayas, in the Chutia Nagpur 
Division of Bengal and in Assam. It is composed of quartz, 
felspar, hornblende, chlorite and mica, all or only two of which 
minerals may be present. Lead, silver, garnet, corundum and 
diamond are occasionally found in azoic rocks. The lead-ore or 
galena of Bhagalpur contains silver. Lead-ores occur in Chutia 
Nagpur also. The greatest depth of the azoic system is 26,000 
feet. The soils are somewhat better than granitic soils, but mica- 
schists which contain no felspar, but only quartz and mica, are 
poor. Quite recently apatite has been discovered in the mica 
mines of Hazaribagh a fact which is of considerable agricultural 
importance. 

4th. Above the Vindhyan system which represents a transi- 
tion between the true metamorphic gneiss and the true sedimen- 
tary rocks of the Lower Silurian system which are marked with 
ripples, come the Pateeozoic rocks. The Palaeozoic period is charac- 
terised by the first appearance of life, though the remains of very 
few animals have been discovered in the older of these rocks. ~A 
few zoophytes, trilobites and graptolites and some shells called 
Oldhamia are the fossil remains found in them. The greatest 
depth of the Lower Silurian rocks, as these older rocks are called, 
is about 30,000 feet, and of the Upper Silurians about 108,000 feet. 
The Lower Silurian rocks consist of shales, sandstones, limestones 
and conglomerates. This system is scarcely represented in India. 
Lower Silurian beds are found overlying the Himalayan gneiss. 
The Upper Silurian system consists of the Old- r^-sandstone 
(dO,000 feet), the Carboniferous rocks (15,000 feet) and the Permian 
group (3,000 feet) or the New-red-sandstone. Of these the carboni- 
ferous rocks are chiefly represented in India. These consist of 
limestones, shallow beds of sandstone, and coal measures. The 
coal measures of Bengal are of great importance, and coal in them 
being associated with iron and limestone, their possible importance 
as centres of manufacture is evident* Coal exists in an igneous 
or* crystalline form in the ftlder metamorphic formations, for 
instance, ia the district of Sambalpur, in the more ordinary form 



GEOLOGICAL STRATA. 15 

in carboniferous rocks and in the later tertiary formations also 
and in the recent formations as peat. Feat can be dug out of a 
depth of only twenty feet in places south of Calcutta. The coal 
of Bengal is characterised by the usual fossils of the carboniferous 
systems, viz., lepidodendron and calamite. The Raniganj coal- 
fields embrace an area of about 500 square miles, the Barrakar 
coal-fields about 220 square miles and the Jheria coal-fields about 
200 square miles. The depth of some of the Raniganj coal seams 
is seventy to eighty feet. The Bengal carboniferous rocks come 
under what is called the Gondwana system. The soils of this 
system are indifferent, better than granite soils, but poorer than 
basaltic and alluvial soils. There is not much to choose between 
the gneissose soils of Chutia Nagpur and the soils of the coal-fields 
of Burdwan and Manbhum. As a rule, they are indifferent 
soils. f: i U ft fe< ftj 

Gond wan a system. The upper strata of the Palaeozoic and 
the lower strata of the Mesozoic groups in India (i.e., from Juras- 
sic down to Carboniferous rocks) are included under the Gond- 
wana system. They have been probably deposited by rivers and 
are chiefly composed of sandstones and shales. Plant remains are 
common but not animal remains. The Eajmehal hills, the Damo- 
dar Valley, the Tributary Mehals of Orissa and Chhatisgarh, Chutia 
Nagpur and the Upper Son Valley, and the Satpura range at the 
Grodavery basin, are the localities representing the Gondwana 
system. 

5th. The Mesoxoic Epoch. Air-breathing animals which first 
made their appearance at the close of the Paleozoic epoch 
appeared in abundance at the Mesozoic epoch. The lowest group 
of this epoch is called the Triassic group (about 2,300 feet in maxi- 
mum thickness). The next higher is called the Oolitic (about 
4,500 feet in maximum thickness) and the topmost group is called 
the Cretaceous (maximum thickneSvS, 11,000 feet). Fossil remains 
of Labyrinthodon reptiles have been discovered in the Damodar 
Valley above the coal-fields of the Panchet hills. These are char- 
acteristic of the Triassic period. They have been also discovered 
in the Central Provinces of India : but Triassic rocks occur chiefly 
in the North- Western Himalayas, where they occur to the thickness 
of 1,000 to 2,000 feet. The Oolitic group of rocks is subdivided 
into (1) Liassic, (2) Jurassic and (3) Oolitic proper. Monstrous 
reptiles (Icthyosaurus, Plesiosaurus and Pterodactyle) were the 
characteristic animals of this period. The ammonite and belemnite 
of the Himalayas are Oolitic* The shales and limestones of the 
Himalayas are both Liassic and Oolitic. The Bajmehal hills 
which abound in fossil plants are Jurassic. The cretaceous system 
is not represented at all in Bengal, though portions of the Nizam's 
dominion and of the Bombay Presidency and also of Assam belong 
to this system. Tracts rich in fossil remains are very fertile, also 
those where gneiss and limestones meet. 



16 HANDBOOK OP AGRICULTURE. 

6th. The Neozoic epoch follows the rnesozoic, and at this epoch 
for the first time we come across remains of animals and plants 
allied to those of the present time. The trilobite of the Silurian 
period, the peculiar bony-armoured fish of the Red-sandstone, 
the large club-mosses and reeds of the carboniferous system, 
the huge reptiles of the Oolite, the ammonites of the Lias and the 
chalk, give place to new forms of life. Only from three to four per 
cent, of the tertiary plants and animals of the earliest strata are 
modern ; about eighteen per cent, of the plants and animals of the 
middle tertiary period are modern, and there is no distinct gap 
between the close of the tertiary period and the recent period. 
The lowest tertiary period is called Eocene when the existing forms 
of life are first seen. The middle period is called Miocene, and 
the upp3rnmst tertiary period is called Pliocene. The nummulitic 
limastone formations of the Himalayas, often attaining a height 
of 16,000 feet, are marine and belong to the eocene period. Mam- 
mals appeared first in the miocene period, and the extensive fossil 
remains of the Siwalik range belong to this period. The Sivatherium 
deer is the characteristic fossil of this period. Gigantic croco- 
diles and land turtles of modern times also occurred, and a huge 
but extinct species of tortoise, a shell of which can be seen in the 
Indian Museum. In the Pliocene period man first made his appear- 
ance, and agate knives have been discovered in the Upper Goda- 
very characteristic of this period. The greatest depth of the 
Tertiary or Neozoic group of rocks is 9,000 feet. 

7th. Between the Indus and the Brahmaputra there lies a 
vast alluvial plain which consists mainly of miocene and pliocene 
tertiary deposits. These aie tho Recent Formations, the com- 
mencement of this period being coeval with the first appearance 
of man. In Bengal, though some of the other systems are repre- 
sented, as we have already indicated, we aie mainly concerned 
with these alluvial post-tertiary and recent deposits. 

8th. Laterite. The origin of laterite and its position in the 
geological system are subjects of some dispute. Laterite is porous 
argillaceous rock much impregnated with iron peroxide, some 
containing as much as 25 to 35% of iron. The iron exists chiefly 
as limonite or hydrated peroxide. The surface of laterite after 
exposure is covered with a brown or blackish brown crust of limo- 
nite, but the rock when freshly broken is mottled with tints of 
brown, red and yellow and a considerable proportion consists of 
white clay which contains no iron. Examples of all these forms 
are to be met with at Garhbeta in the district of Midnapur. The 
exposed surface is pitted with hollows and irregularities caused 
by washing away of softer portions. The rock has a scoriaeeous 
and volcanic appearance, especially as it is associated usually with 
basalt and other igneous rocks * But it is now usually believed to 
be of detrital origin produced from other rocks, igneous and sedi- 
mentary. The high-level laterite of Central and Western India 



GEOLOGICAL STRATA. 17 

does not appear to be detrital in origin as the iron is not sandy. 
The low-level laterite of Bengal is mixed up with sand, quartz, 
pebbles, ferruginous sandy clay and gravel. The high-level laterite 
always caps the highest lava flow, which makes the subject of its 
origin so difficult to understand. It becomes more and more 
probable, however, that it is simply the normal weathering product 
of highly basic rocks under the conditions of a tropical climate. 
The low-level laterite is probably the detritus of the high-level 
laterite. The action of rain and streams having carried away 
the lighter sand and clay, the heavy iron-sand is left as laterite, 
and to this may be due the concentration of the ferruginous element. 
The age of the low-level laterite is certainly post-tertiary, while 
the high-level laterite is being constantly produced. 

9th. Alluvial deposits and Blown sands* Blown sand forms the soil 
of places close to the sea, and its deposit is quite recent. Alluvial 
deposits will be dealt with in the next Chapter. 

It should be noted that (1) clay, (2) sand, (3) gravel, (4) peat, 
(5) shell-marl and (6) marine ooze of recent formation are analogous 
respectively to (1) shale, (2) sandstone, (3) conglomerate, (4) coal, 
(5) limestone and (6) chalk of old geological formations. The plder 
the sedimentary rocks, the more compact they are. But their age 
is indicated chiefly by fossils. 

The strata of the crust of the earth has found in India, from 
the top to the bottom or from the most recent .to the oldest, may 
be graphically represented as below : 

Post Tertiaru I Decent ( 1 st). 
rost-lertiaty | Plei8tocene 



A. NROZOIC | r Pliocene (3rd). \Cuddalore 

I Tertiary Miocene (4th). / rooks. 

I Eocene (5th). 

I Cretaceous (6th). 

( Oolitic proper (7th). 
JK. MBSOZOiu -v Oolitic 1 Jurassic (8th). 

tLiassic (9th). 



. 

Triassic(IOrh). 

TT*~ f Permian (llth). 

Upper I n ftrK nnifl.n,,- n 



Gondwana 
system. 



n* \ Carboniferous (12th). 

C. PALEOZOIC \ > lurian (old red-sandstone (13th). 

Lower Silurian (14th). 

(Vindhyan (15th). 
Sub-metamorphic (16th). 
M t ,^>,^ / Peninsular Gneiss (17th). 
Metamorphic ( B undelkhand Gneiss (18th). 

The following summary of the characters of the geological 
strata as they particularly refer to India may be found useful : 

A. NEOZOIC. 

Itt. Recent. Blown sands, alluvium, fluviatile and marine, including deltas and 
lagoons, laterite and gravels. Exampl*, the united delta of the Ganges and 
the Brahmaputra, covering a space of 60.000 to 60,000 square miles and ft depth 
of about 600 feet, and the whole of the Indo-Gangetic batfn. General cf&rac- 
t*r, fine sands and clay with occasional pebbles or pebble-beds, beds of peat 
and remains of tree*, but no trace of marine organisms. 



18 HANDBOOK 02 AGBKJULTURE. 



Glacial period. Erratic boulders and moraines in the Hima- 
layas and Upper Punjab. Modern fauna. 

3rd. Pliocene period. Sott massive sandstone, also clays and conglomerates, many 
frefth*water, resting on the nammulic limestones. Example, Sivvalik-beds, 
full of fossil remains of animals, chiefly mammals allied to modern fauna ; 
also in Sind, the Punjab, the North- West Provinces of India, and along a 
' narrow strip of bills from the Jhelnm to the Brahmaputra in the Sub-Hima- 
layan region, 1,500 miles long and 12 to 15,000 feet in thickness. 

4th. Miocene. Marine sands, shales, clays with gypsum, sandstones and highly 
fossiliferous bands of limestones. Uppermost beds are clays with gypsum 
containing estuarine shells. This period is represented in Sind. 

5th. Eocene. Sandstones, probably fresh-water ; also marine limestones passing 
into sandstones and shales ; nummuUtic limestones ; clays With gypsum and 
lignite abounding in marine fauna. Examples in Sind, tho Punjab, Orissa 
Coast, Assam ana Burma. 



B, MESOZOIC, 

6M. Cretaceous or Chalk system 11,000 feet. Here and tbere in the Himalayas, 
especially in Assam, but all over the Indian Peninsula, where it is covered 
over in the middle and west by the Deccan basalt, which is the volcanic lava 
of this period. 

Clth. Oolitic proper. Himalayan shales and limestones. 
I 8M. Jurassw. Hajmehal hills (characterised by fossil plants) and 
OOLITIC I Upper Panchet Series. 

4,50;) FEET.l 9th. Li<i9*ic. -Shales and limestones of the Himalayas. Lower beds 
of the Kajmehal hills and the lias of India belong to the Gond- 
l. wana system. 

IQth. Triassic 2,300 feet..- Lower Panchet Series of the Daraodar Valley showing 
remains of Labyrinthodon reptiles, also of the valleys of the Central Provinces 
and of North- WVst Himalayas, where they attain to a thickness of 1,1)00 to 
2,000 feet chiefly in. North Kashmir and [the Salt Range of the Punjab. The 
fossils are like those of the alpine trias. These belong to the Gondwana 



C. PALAEOZOIC. 

llth. Permian group or New-red- sandstone 3,000 feet. Thick beds of sandstones 
and shales of flnviatile origin, belonging to the Gondwana system. The Lower 
Series are the Talchir and Darauda rocks which correspond with the Permian 
rocks of Europe. 

12th. Carboniferous system 15,000 feet. Raniganj, Barrakar and Jheria fields. 
Belong to the Gondwana system. 

i3(/i. Old Red-Sandstone 90,000 feet. Scarcely represented in India. 

llth> Lower Silurian 30,000 feet. Shales, limestones, sandstones and conglome- 
rates. This is scarcely represented in India, but is found on the top of Hima- 
layan gneiss. 



D. Azoic. 

IbthtolSth. Arr.h&an rocks 26,000 feet. Oldest known rocks of India are gneiss 
underlying the ancient Palaeozoic rocks. They belong to two periods. Tfee 
Older or Bundelkhand Gneiss (18th) is covered by certain transition or Sub- 
metamorphic rocks (called also Vindhyan system of rocks) which (15th) as 
they approach the younger gneiss become altered (16th) and intersected by 
granite intrusions. In West Himalayas both the gneisses occur. The Upper 
Himalayan gneiss (16th) is fprmed by the metamorphisra of older Pakeozoic 
rocks* 



SURFACE-GEOLOGY, BENGAL. 19 

CHAPTEE II. 
SURFACE-GEOLOGY OF THE BENGAL DISTRICTS, 

l/The Old and New Alluvial tracts ; Laterite region and laterite patches ; glacial 
boulders ; the two Cuddalore bands : Tertiary and Cretaceous regions (in 
Eastern Bengal, Assam and Orissa Hills) ; Gondwana deposits consisting of 
(1) Rajmehal trap (from Raniganj Northwards and Westwards through 
Birbhum, Damodar Valley to Hazaribagh, also in Cuttack, in the Son 
Valley, and in Palamau), (2) Jurassic beds of Rajmehal, (3) Panchet and 
Pubrajpur rocks, (4) Barrakar rocks including coal, (5) Talchirs and (6) 
Damudas (Raniganj to Chanda) ; Upper Vindhyans of Chunar ; Lower 
Vindhyans in the Son Valley : transition rocks in Manbhum and Singh- 
bhum ; gneiss and granitic intrusions in Chutia Nagpur Division and 
Monghyr ; Domogneiss ; trap-dykes rare in Bengal gneiss ; Bengal trap 
(1) Cretaceous (W. of Chutia Nagpur;, (2) Rajmehal and (3) Archamn 
(Singhbhum).] 

MOST districts of Bengal and Bihar are alluvial. This alluvial 
plain is a portion of the Indo-Gangetic basin which includes 
about 300,000 square miles, or one quarter of the whole of British 
India. It is the richest and most populous tract of land, consist- 
ing of clay, more or less sandy. Peat, gravels, conglomerate and 
pure sand occur at intervals. Pisolitic concretions of hydrated 
iron peroxide abound in certain regions. In Dinajpur the nodules 
of iron-peroxide are as big as pigeons' eggs ; but usually they are 
of the size of peas or even smaller. The alluvium is classified into 
Old and New. The older alluvium is at a higher level, in the 
Burdwan Division, in some places, over one hundred feet above 
the sea-level. The newer alluvium occurs near channels of rivers. 
The delta of the Ganges and the Brahmaputra is also new allu- 
vium. No marine fossils have been discovered in this alluvium, 
though in Calcutta a boring down to a depth of nearly five 
hundred feet was made. This boring clearly demonstrated that 
the surface of the land in the neighbourhood of Calcutta has sunk 
to at least this extent within the recent geological age. Fresh- 
water shells, pebbles and bits of wood that must have occurred 
at one time at the surface were brought out by this boring. The 
greater portion of the Ganges alluvium is old alluvium containing 
beds of kankar or carbonate of lime nodules, and of concretions of 
hydrated iron-peroxide. On the western edge of the delta of Bengal 
there is a large area of this older alluvium, where the surface is 
somewhat undulating, evidently in consequence of denudation. 
This tract, which is continuous with the newer alluvium of East 
Bengal, comprises the greater portion of the country to the west- 
ward of the Bhagirathi and the Hooghly, and owes its comparative 
elevation to the deposits from the Mourakshi, Ajay and Damodar, 
brought down from the Rajmehal series of hills, extending north 
and south from the Ganges to the neighbourhood of Suri in Bengal. 
The Bath country of Bengal and the whole of the Bihar soil is 
composed of old alluvium. The old alluvium .is under deniidatipn, 



20 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

though occasional elevation by silt formation, due to inundation, 
also occurs in places. The newer alluvium is ordinarily under 
formation and it has the tendency to rise, though occasionally 
denudation and disappearance of whole tracts of new alluvium 
often takes place in different localities. This general depression 
of the older alluvium and this general elevation of the newer allu- 
vium are to be distinguished from the geological upheaval and 
depression that have taken place in the alluvial tracts of Bengal 
since the tertiary period. The elevation of the Tippera hills and 
the coast of Orissa, and the depression of the Gangetic delta by 
nearly five hundred feet cannot be explained by alluvial action 
and denudation. There is some evidence to show that the drainage 
of the Indo-Gangetic plain took place at one time by one delta 
only, viz., the delta of the Indus, and that the Gangetic delta havS 
been formed since the depression of the lower part of Bengal, faci- 
litating drainage by a second outlet. The extensive Madhupur 
jungles of Dacca are probably the remains of the old alluvium 
which existed prior to this depression which has resulted in the 
accumulation of new alluvium in the greater portion of East 
Bengal. 

Though the prevailing rocks of Bengal and Bihar are alluvium, 
whether old and new, there are some important exceptions. First 
of all we will describe the laterite region of Bengal, which is also 
post-tertiary. This laterite region can be traced up from Cape 
Comorin along the east coast, through Orissa, Midnapur, Bankura, 
Burdwan, Birbhum, to the flanks of the Rajmehal hills as far as. 
Patna. This fringe of laterite underlies the old alluvium and is. 
older than alluvium. It is often seen capping older rocks. Thi& 
is the high-level laterite already described. The low-level laterite 
is truly alluvial, and it occurs in patches throughout the old allu- 
vium of the Ganges valley. 

The Pleistocene or glacial boulders and moraines are not re- 
presented in Bengal, except in the lower hills of Sikkim, Bhutan 
and Nepal, down to a height of about 3,000 feet above the level of 
the sea. 

Next we come across in Bengal a band of the Cuddalore group 
of rocks, sandstones, grits and clays, underlying laterite, from 
east of Raniganj, extending northwards as far as Suri. These 
Cuddalore sandstones, etc., are tertiary. At a lower elevation in 
the Sub-Himalayan range, on the north of Bengal, there is a band 
of soft massive sandstones, also clays and conglomerates, resting 
on the older tertiary bed of nummulitic limestone. This belongs 
to the same age as the Cuddalore band from Raniganj to Suri. 

Next come the Eocene sandstones, nummulitic limestones, 
the cretaceous rocks, and the pre-tertiary slates and sandstones 
that are found in the Chittftgong, Tippera, Garo and Manipur 
hills. Tertiary rocks prevail in these hills which were probably 
elevated at the post-tertiary age about the same time as the Gan- 
getic delta from Rajmehal to the Garo hills was depressed. 



SURFACE-GEOLOGY, BENGAL. 21 

The Jurassic system is next represented in Bengal in the 
Rajmehal hills and the Upper Panchet series of rocks. The typical 
Rajmehal rock is a basalt or trap consisting of dark-coloured dole- 
rite interstratified with a hard, white and grey and carbonaceous 
shale, white and grey sandstones and hard quartzose grit. Trap- 
dykes and intrusions of the Rajmehal age are also abundant in the 
coal-fields of the Damodar valley and dykes and cores of basalt 
.are common in Birbhum, South- West of Rajmehal. Trap-dykes 
diminish in the Damodar valley from east to west until in the 
south-west of Hazaribagh volcanic intrusions disappear almost 
entirely. Further west, of course, occurs the newer Deccan trap. 
The focus of eruption of the Rajmehal trap is at a point north of 
Raniganj. The Rajmehal beds extend to the east coast close up 
to Cuttack and southwards. Eastward, trap-dykes are less 
numerous, but they occur throughout the Upper Son valley and 
they gradually die out in Palamau only two hundred miles west 
of the ground in which the older lava flows of the Rajmehal age 
are seen and within less than one hundred miles of the Gondwana 
basins in the Upper Damodar valley which are traversed by 
basalt dykes probably of the same age as the Rajmehal traps. 

The Gondwana rocks appear in Bengal, in the Damodar valley 
and in Chutia Nagpur. In the former, the upper and the lower 
Gondwana rocks, are both observable at the basal portion of the 
Panchet hill and the zemindari of Panchet, south of the Raniganj 
coal-field. The lower Panchet beds consist of coarse felspathic 
and micaceous sandstones, usually white or greenish-white in 
colour, with bands of red clay interstratified among the sandstones. 
The Panchet and Damuda rocks, though often occurring in close 
proximity, are of different age. The Panchet rocks are distinguish- 
able from the typical Damudas by the presence of red clay and the 
absence of carbonaceous shales, and by the sandstone being usually 
more micaceous. Fragments of coal and shale are found in the 
conglomerates of the Panchet group, but they are evidently de- 
rived from the Damudas. The Dubrajpur rocks consisting of 
ferruginous sandstones and conglomerates belong to the Upper 
Gondwana age. The ridge of gneiss from the basaltic plateau of 
the Deccan to the Highlands of Chutia Nagpur is overlaid and 
crossed by Gondwana deposits stretching across from the Son to 
the Mahanadi. The watershed between the Son and the Maha- 
nadi is pretty high and is occupied by the Talchir rocks of no great 
thickness, so that gneiss forms the rock barrier from east to west. 
The Tributary Mahals of Orissa also belong to the Gondwana series. 
The coarseness of the rocks, the prevalence of sandstones, the 
frequent occurrence of bands of conglomerate and the absence of 
marine fossil, characterise them as Gondwanas. 

Then come the typical Damuda or Barrakar rocks belonging 
to the carboniferous system. The Barrakar river and its tri- 
butaries traverse the whole of this region. It passes round the 
western portion of the Raniganj coal-field and f all| into the Damo- 



22 HANDBOOK OP AGRICULTURE. 

dar within the limits of the field. In the higher portion of its 
course the Barrakar receives streams which drain the Karharbari 
coal-fields which are supposed to be Talchirs or the lowest Gond- 
waria and not carboniferous. Conglomerates, sandstones, shales 
usually micaceous, and coal, characterise this region. The sand- 
stones are felspathic, consisting of grains of quartz and decomposed 
felspar. Knobs of calcareous concretions project through the 
sandstones. Felspar is at different places seen converted into 
pure kaolin. White felspathic sandstone may be traced all the 
way from Raniganj to Chanda in the Central Provinces. Another 
typical Barrakar rock is conglomerate of rounded-white quartz 
pebbles scattered over the surface of the soil. 

Last of all we have the Archaean rocks of Bengal, metamor- 
phic and submetamorphic, transition or Vindhyan. Small hills 
in Bihar appearing through the alluvium are most of them Lower 
Vindhyan, and at the lowest level where the Ganges washes the 
base of the plateau at Chunar, only Upper Vindhyans are exposed. 
The concealment of the Lower Vindhyans here is probably due to 
the depression in the main axis of the basin. The Lower Vindhyan 
rocks of the Son valley consist of limestones, shale, sandstone, 
shaley sandstone, trappoid beds, porcellanic shales and conglo- 
meratic and calcareous sandstone. True metamorphic rocks, 
that is to say, gneiss and granitoids, encroach upon the zone of the 
transition rocks in Bihar where for some miles north of the Grand 
Trunk Road, west of Gaya, gneiss reaches quite across the strike 
of the slates. Several hills isolated on the alluvial plain in thi 
neighbourhood are of pure granite. Immediately east of Gya 
transition rocks appear again on the prolongation of those on the 
Son valley and having the same strike. They form several groups of 
hills in East Bihar, known as the Maher, Rajagriha, Shaikhpura and 
Gidhour hills, which stand clear of the main gneissic area and more 
or less isolated in the alluvial plains, and those of Mohabar and 
Bhiaura on the northern margin of the gneissic upland. All these 
isolated Bihar rocks belong to one system, massive quartzites ap- 
pearing on the sides of the hills and the associated schists or slates 
appearing obscurely in the valleys. On the north side of the Bhia- 
ura ridge the bottom quartzites lie steeply against the ' ' dome- 
gneiss ' ' as the peculiar rounded and poised masses of gneiss are 
called. Elsewhere schistose gneiss occur* at the boundary. True 
granitic intrusion may be observed in the soft earthy schists. In 
the neighbourhood of Gya many forms of special metamorphism 
and of contact action are well exhibited. At Lukhisari the quart- 
zite rests against an amorphous mass of pseudo-crystalline gra- 
nitoid rock of much less sharply defined texture than at Shaikh- 
pura in which strings of pebbles can be detected. This amorphous 
mass rests on beds of coarse conglomerate. Another outcrop of 
conglomeratic schist appears in the east end of the Gidhour range. 

The gneissic uplands of Hazaribagh in Chutia Nagpur, about 
one hundred and twenty miles wide, separated the transition rocks 



SUBtfACE-GEOLOGY, BENGAL, 2 

of Bihar from those which occupy parts of Manbhum and Singh-* 
bhum in South- West Bengal and stretch far to the west, the whole* 
transition area here being one hundred and fifty miles long from 
east to west and eighty miles wide. *The prevailing character of 
the rocks here may be best explained by an enumeration of the 
principal kinds that occur on the surface. These are quartzite, 
quartzitic sandstone, slate, shales, hornblendic, micaceous, talcose 
and chloritic schists passing into bedded trap, and shales with ripple 
marks so little metamorphosed that they might be mistaken for 
Talchirs, or the lowest Gondwana shales, but for veins of quartz 
penetrating through them. The Chutia Nagpur gneiss is inter- 
bedded with micaceous hornblendic and siliceous schists, and occa- 
sionally with bands of porphyritic granite and highly metamorphic 
schists. In Singhbhum the oldest or Bundelkhund gneiss is seen 
in junction with transition rocks, interpenetrated by trap-dykes. 
Sandstones and tnudstones, resting immediately on the rough and 
weathered surface of the granitic gneiss traversed by trap-dykes 
is the prevailing character of the Singhbhum soil. ' ' Dome- 
gneiss ' ' prevails in the northern fringe of the Hazaribagh plateau 
and the Mandar hill of Bhagalpur. Trap-dykes though common in 
the Bundelkhund gneiss are rare in the Bengal gneiss. We do not 
see the same extensive basaltic intrusions in Southern Monghyr,. 
Hazaribagh and Chutia Nagpur as we do in Birbhum where they 
belong not to the Archaean but to the Kajmehal age. 

We have thus seen that, although the prevailing character of 
the soil of Bengal and Bihar is alluvial, either old or new, we have 
important exceptions all over the outlying districts, where rocka 
of older epochs prevail. 

The age of rocks can be only vaguely guessed by their texture. 
The study of fossils alone gives us exact clue as to which period a 
particular sandstone, or a particular limestone, or a particular 
shale, belongs. As an agriculturist one should be able to judge 
from the external appearance of soils and sub-soils and with such 
rough and ready test as is afforded by a little hydrochloric acid, 
their general character and composition, and a knowledge of the 
principal minerals and of the method of distinguishing and testing 
them will help one to judge still better whether a soil is rich or poor 
and whether it is capable of much improvement by the utilization 
of local resources. The value of trap-rocks in the formation o 
rich soils has been mentioned. The presence of a large variety of 
rocks is also of great value in forming rich soils. A valley or a 
plain situated near a hill where shales, sandstones, limestones and 
ielspathic granite or gneiss occur in abundance must be rich in 
plant-food. The junction of two geological formations is always 
rich. The alluvial deposits differ in character according to the 
difference in the character of rocks composing the hills from which 
t&ey are derived. Usually, however, alluvial soils abound m plant* 
foods, especially the farther they are situated away from mountains. 
The delta of. the Ganges represents washings of the finer particles 



24 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

of all the Bengal hills, and what is of great importance, it is full of 
organic matter, being the receptacles of the drainage of a large and 
populous tract of country and of hills abounding in forests. The 
combination of minerals and organic matter is far greater i^ the 
lower part of the basin of the Ganges than in the upper parts. But 
where in the upper parts of the basin the soil is clearly derived 
from felspathic granite or trap-rocks and limestones, it is richer 
than alluvium. 



CHAPTER III. 
FORMATION OF SOILS. 

(Sedentary and transported soils ; Kankar ; Knowledge of composition of soi* 
and stones how far useful ; External characters ; Evidence of composition 
and fertility ; Fossil remains indicative of fertility ; Value of archsean and 
metamorphic soils ; Trap-rocka and volcanic tuffs making superior soils ; 
Presence of felspathic stones desirable ; Disintegration by aqueous, atmos- 
pheric, physical and organic agencies ; Nature's cultivators (earth- wormSf 
etc.) ; Chemical and bacteriological disintegration : Physical and chemical 
properties of humus ; Mixed soils.] 

SOILS are formed by the weathering and disintegration of 
rocks. Soils are either sedentary, that is, formed out of the under- 
lying rocks, or transported) that is, formed out of the disintegrated 
parts of rocks, brought down, mainly by the action of rivers from 
a distance. Sedimentary rocks containing fossil remains of plants 
were soils at some ancient geological period. The superposition 
of layer after layer of silt on them resulted in their becoming com- 
pacted under pressure. By volcanic or other action these solidi- 
fied masses have often been brought again to the surface in the 
form of mountains and thus have become once more subject 
to the action of rain and heat and cold and the atmosphere, and 
once more they have been weathered and converted into soils. In 
geological language, the loose top-soil is also a rock, and in some 
future age, what is now soil with herbs and trees growing on it 
may become a fossil-bearing hard rock with other rocks superposed 
on it. Underneath the loose matting of earth both on land and 
under the sea there is the uneven pavement of stone, jutting out 
into high mountains, or sinking deep in valleys and ravines, or ex- 
tending far and wide in plains and table-lands. There are moun- 
tains and valleys and plains both under the sea and on land. The 
agriculturist is mainly concerned with the loose matting of soil 
and sub-soil on dry land and scarcely at all with the stone pavement 
underneath, unless it occurs within easy depth, in which case he 
can get building-stones, coals, or other minerals, or even valuable 
mammal substances for improving hig soil by digging down a short 
depth or carrying from a short distance. An admixture of ten to 
fifteen per cent, of small stones of the right lands with agricultural 
soils is not undesirable, as these contain valuable reserve mate- 



FORMATION OF SOILS. 25 

rials of food which gradually get dissolved and made available as 
plant-food. But an admixture of large-sized stones in the soil is 
generally not desirable, as they interfere with proper aeration of 
soil, germination of seed and penetration of roots. The agricul- 
turist should not only have an idea of the composition of his soil 
and of the stones which are found in the soil, but also of the sub- 
soil or the soil immediately below the surface soil interpenetrated 
with the roots of deep-rooted plants. The sub-soil is more com- 
pact in appearance and is usually of a lighter colour. It is very 
important that the sub-soil should be lighter but richer than the 
soil, and if the soil is sedentary, that the underlying rock should 
be composed of substances which are valuable for plant-life. 
In transported soils also, valuable minerals, such" as lime or 
kankar and gypsum, may be found buried within easy reach of 
the surface. Chemical analysis does not always give a correct 
idea of the actual present value of a soil, subsoil, or rock, but it 
tells us of their possible ultimate value. In a hard rock scarcely 
any plant-food exists in an available form, and nothing will grow 
on such a rock. In the case of soils also a great deal depends on 
cultivation and not on their potential richness as found out by 
chemical analysis. Analysis, for instance, shows, that the soil of 
the Sibpur Experimental Farm is richer than those of the Burdwan 
and the Dumraon Experimental Farms. But we actually get at 
Sibpur poorer crops. The soil of the Sibpur Farm is a hard clay 
which is difficult and more expensive to cultivate and under the 
same treatment this soil does not yield such heavy crops as soils 
actually poorer but which are easier to cultivate. Nevertheless 
a knowledge of the composition of soils and rocks is of great prac- 
tical value to the scientific farmer. He knows what plant-food 
there is, and it rests with him how much of it he can or he ought to 
make available for a certain crop. A soil may be very fertile, but 
the fertility may be very quickly exhausted. Deep ploughing will 
give better results and so will liming for a time, but these processes 
are exhausting, and it is for the farmer to judge whether his soil 
is capable of such exhaustive operations. For exhausting and 
valuable crops, deep ploughing, burning, liming and other exhaust- 
ing processes are advisable if the soil is rich, but by bringing too 
large a quantity of food into a soluble state and by letting chiefly 
rain to wash it out of the land, though one or two heavier crops 
may be obtained, the soil in the long run may be impoverished. 
Chemical analysis is therefore a guide for ascertaining the value of 
rocks and soils, as the farmer has it in his power to utilise that value 
slowly or quickly according to his needs by the judicious applica- 
tion of tillage and by manuring. 

Though chemical analysis alone gives one the right clue as 
to the composition and nature of rocks and soils, their external 
characters often give a rough idea as to what they are and what 
to expect of them. Indeed, the scientific farmer depends more 
on rough and ready tests than on careful chemical analvsis for 



26 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

judging soils, rocks and minerals. He looks at a dark-coloured 
soil and may conclude it is rich in nitrogen and potash and suitable 
for growing corn. He looks at a yellow soil and may conclude it is- 
rich in phosphorus and lime and other mineral matters, and suit- 
able for growing root-crops and fruits as well as corn. He looks 
at a light-coloured soil and may conclude it is chiefly sand and will 
grow only mustard and rape and Jcalai to perfection. He looks at a 
field overgrown with rich and wild vegetation of various kinds, rank 
grasses, leguminous plants, and creepers, he digs it with his spud 
and finds he can easily manage that, and while digging he notices 
dead shells and channels made by earthworms and insects and he 
concludes it is rich friable loam, and he prefers it to all the others. 
The dark-coloured soil, first mentioned, though rich, and though 
it may show on chemical analysis to contain a larger proportion of 
phosphorus, lime, and other mineral plant-foods as well as organic 
plant-food, is perhaps a stiff clay which he finds it difficult to dig 
with his spade and on the surface of which he notices deep and wide 
cracks. Though he knows it to be richer, he will not prefer it for 
ordinary agricultural crops, though he may for permanent pasture, 
and for such perennial crops, as Rhea, Abroma augusta, Sabai grass, 
Tapioca and such agricultural crops as take long growing, such as 
arahar and sugarcane. If he can afford to keep it in proper tilth 
and if there are special facilities for irrigation, he may prefer such 
clay soil to loam, unless the clay is too stiff. Different soils are 
particularly adapted for particular crops, and when one cannot 
choose his soil one can at least choose his crops. By cultivation 
and manuring it is possible to a limited extent to alter the natural 
adaptability of certain soils to certain crops and these should not 
be lost sight of in any case. 

It has been said that certain stratified rocks were loose work- 
able soil in former geological periods. Hence we find imbedded 
in hard rocks, fossils of plants and animals that once grew on the 
soil or disported themselves over it. As the remains of animals- 
and plants are very valuable as plant-food, rocks showing an abund- 
ance of fossils, such as certain sandstones, and all limestones, are 
productive of very fertile soils. The recognition of fossils is thus 
of some practical importance to farmers. The fertilising property 
of the rocks of the crystalline group, viz., archaic and metamor- 
phic rocks, consists chiefly in the presence of an abundance of felspar.. 
Mica is of less importance, and quartz is of the least. All sedi- 
mentary rocks and soils being ultimately derived from these 
crystalline rocks, a knowledge of the composition of these is of 
value. Mica-schist consists of quartz and mica, and a soil formed 
out of mica-schist is therefore poor. Gneiss is the same as granite 
in ^composition, only it is metamorphic or, in other words, it has 
become compact and crystalline by tlje joint action of heat and 
pressure. Granites, though consisting of felspar, mica and quartz,, 
vary very much in composition according to the proportion in 
which these minerals occur. The larger the proportion of felspar 



FORMATION OF SOILS. 2T 

in granite, the richer it is for the purpose of formation of soils, and 
red-coloured granite and gneiss form richer soil than grey-coloured 
ones. Trap-rocks and volcanic tuffs form the richest soils, and a 
study of the minerals which compose these is of great importance. 
The agencies operating in the disintegration of soils are : (1} 
Aqueous, (2) Atmospheric, (3) Physical and (4) Organic. 

(1) Aqueous agency in the disintegration of rocks and soils 
is the most potent of all. What enormous quantities of solid 
matter in large and small sizes are dislocated by rain and brought 
down by streams and cataracts and rivers, may, be judged from 
Everest's calculation of silt carried down by the Ganges alone. 
Everest calculated that 355,361,464 tons of solid matter are car- 
ried down annually to the sea by the Ganges. If 1,000 ships laden 
with about 1,000 tons of mud daily were employed in emptying 
their contents into the sea, they would perform the same work 
which is done by the Ganges. The Brahmaputra carries to the 
sea a still larger quantity of silt. The hardest and heaviest rocks 
become converted into rounded boulders and pebbles by the action 
of the moving water containing sand in motion. Water acts not 
only mechanically in denuding rocks, but it is also a solvent. The 
potash, soda, silica and lime get dissolved in water, and rocks 
may be denuded simply by the solvent action of water. The sol- 
vent action of water or minerals is increased by its containing 
salts in solution and gases in suspension. Besides disintegration 
due to rainfall and the denudation due to rivers and waterfalls, 
we have a third form of aqueous agency in operation : sea waves 
beating against cliffs help in the formation of soils. The action 
of glaciers in tearing down rocks and in the formation of moraines 
and erratic boulders may be also included under this head. 
The hydration of rocks in the presence of water may also be 
mentioned. 

(2) Atmospheric agency acts on rocks chiefly in four ways. 
First, the carbon dioxide gas contained in the atmosphere renders 
the calcium carbonate soluble. Limestones, chalk and kankar 
thus get dissolved and available as plant-food, and the rain-water 
from calcareous rocks charged with calcium carbonate, flows into 
the sea where shell-fish and corals and foraminifera utilise the lime 
in building up their own bodies, which in time settle in the form of 
dead shells and form new rocks. Secondly, the dew and water- 
vapour of the atmosphere getting into the interstices of rocks in 
cold regions become congealed, and the expansion resulting 
from this has the effect of disintegrating particles of rocks. Thirdly, 
the oxygen of the atmosphere is a very potent agent for oxidizing 
and disintegrating surfaces of hard rocks. Fourthly, strong cur- 
rents of wind carry sand and finer particles of matter (such as 
common salt) from the sea-shore and the dry beds of rivers into- 
the interior. 

(3) Physical agencies operate in disintegrating soils chiefly 
in the form of heat. Earthquakes, hot-springs and volcanoes. 



28 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

have the tendency to alter even the superficial layers of the earth's 
surface more than we think they do ; but these agencies were more 
potent in past ages than now. Electric agency is also at work. 
The water- vapour and the free nitrogen of the atmosphere combine 
in the presence of lightning and thunder in the form of nitric acid 
which being brought down by rain acts on the rocks and helps to 
dissolve their particles more quickly. 

(4) Organic agencies are at work in various forms. Minute 
bacteria are continually at work in soils and on the surface of rocks. 
Higher forms of vegetation, lichens, mosses, grasses, shrubs, 
creepers and trees are also most potent in disintegrating rocks. 
Animal life also is at work chiefly in the sea in the formation of 
soils. Coral reefs, chalk cliffs, nummulitic and other limestones 
and marls, consist of dead shells, chiefly of marine animals, large 
and small. The lime carried in solution by rivers to the sea goes 
to form the shells of these animals. The silica carried in solution 
to the sea is used by a minute animal called radiolaria in the for- 
mation of its body, or rather the shell round its body. Tripoli- 
earth and Barbadoes-earth used for grinding purposes are old 
radiolarian deposits, as chalk is old foraminiferous deposit. 

Light diatomaceous earth is of vegetable origin ; but the earth 
is nearly pure silica. Landshells, caterpillars, moles, voles, musk, 
shrews and pigs may be also mentioned as nature's cultivators, 
though they are also to be regarded in the light of pests. Locusts 
which are the worst of all pests may be also regarded in the light 
of nature's fertilizers. If locusts are frightened and prevented 
from alighting, they may not do any damage, but simply leave a 
thick deposit of droppings, rich in manurial substances culled 
from forests all along their track. 

Earth-worms have also considerable influence in the forma- 
tion of soils and in altering their character. They derive nourish- 
ment from soil which passes through their intestinal canal, some 
of the organic matter being digested, while the whole of the earth is 
mixed up and triturated inside the canal. Worm-casts are parti- 
cularly useful to the farmer, as they help to loosen and perforate the 
soil for the penetration of roots, water and air. Worms also drag 
down leaves, pieces of straw, etc., into their holes, thus incorporating 
organic matter into the soil, and making heavy soils lighter and 
light soils heavier. The presence of earth-worms on grass-land 
consisting of a shallow layer of soil resting on hard rocks is parti- 
cularly beneficial in gradually adding to the depth of the soil in an 
imperceptible manner. Darwin computed that an acre of garden 
soil in England contains on an average about fifty-thousand earth- 
worms, and in ordinary arable soils about half this number. In 
India, it is probable that the number is smaller. In good soils 
ten tons of dry earth is passed through*the intestines of earth-worms 
annually and the surface deposit of casts is about one-fifth of an 
inch per annum. Even in poor soils a surface deposit of '08 inch 
per annum has been estimated. As earth-worms go down several 



FORMATION OP SOILS. 29 

feet deep and come up again, the mixing of the soil effected by 
them is often more efficacious than that effected by cultivation. 

It has been observed that a stream of lava takes sometimes 
several years to cool. Even when cool it is incapable of supporting 
higher vegetable life. Disintegration takes place by hydration, 
oxidation and physical action. Nitrification then proceeds with 
the help of bacteria. Then lichens and other minute forms of vege- 
tation are observed to appear. Gradually the quantity of soil on 
the hard surface of the rock increases, and the growth of vegeta- 
tion becomes more vigorous, mosses, ferns and grasses gradually 
taking the place of lichens. When visible soil accumulates, and 
fissures and cracks appear on the rock, herbs and shrubs multiply 
and by their root-action further help to disintegrate the rock to 
some depth. The formation of soils now goes on apace. Lichens 
and bacteria are able to draw nourishment from the most insoluble 
rocks, not only basalts, granites and schists, but also quartz. 
Even quartz gets covered with lichens when exposed long enough 
to air. The action of higher vegetation on rocks is partly 
mechanical and partly chemical. Roots get into the clefts of rocks 
and tear them asunder. Chemical action is concerned in the 
solution of some of the ingredients of the rock. The solvent 
action of roots is partly due to the formation of acids in them 
which act on particles of soil. All plants, large or small, die each 
year wholly or partly and deposit their dead organic matter on 
the rock. The falling leaves, seeds, etc., when they accumulate 
in forests, marshes or bogs, produce a black or brown mass* 
which is called humus. By decay of roots of plants also a similar 
substance is formed. When organic matter decays in very high 
temperature, the carbon and hydrogen may get entirely oxidized 
into carbon dioxide and water, but with limited access of air 
the oxidation is slow and the formation of bodies which resist 
decay for a long time is the result. These are found in the 
lower layers of turfs and in meadows and forests. The humus 
so formed is of a complex composition. The acids and other 
organic substances formed are not clearly understood. The 
commonest are humic acid (C H, 2 6 ), ulmic acid (C 20 H 14 6 ), 
geic acid (C 10 H, , 7 ), crenic acid and apocrenic acid. The com- 
position of crenic and apocrenic acids, discovered by Berzelius, 
is uncertain. All these compounds retain ammonia with great 
tenacity. Humus is also a highly hygroscopic substance tending 
to keep rock moist, and thus helping their further disintegration 
by hydration. . The generation of carbon dioxide in humus is 
profuse and constant. The air of all soils contains a much higher 
proportion of carbon dioxide than ordinary atmospheric air, which 
contains only four or five parts of carbon dioxide in ten thousand 
parts, while the air in soils contains from ten to two hundred 
and fifty parts of carbon dioxide in ten thousand parts. The 
organic acids and carbon dioxide of humus assist in the decom- 
position of minerals. The nitrogenous matters of humus jnte gra- 



!30 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

dually converted into ammonium salts and nitrates, especially in 
the presence of lime and nitrifying bacteria. These salts in their 
turn assist in disintegration. Plants thus have the effect of dis- 
integrating rocks in various ways, both in their living and dead 
state. Not only limestones, but even quartz and other hard sili- 
cates, are found eaten into by roots of plants. Clubmosses which 
contain a good deal of alumina (which is not an essential consti- 
tuent of every plant), are of great help in disintegrating rocks con- 
taining alumina. Of agricultural plants, mangold-wurzel and 
Chukd-Pdlam, containing a good deal of oxalic acid, have a con- 
.siderable power of assimilating phosphates from the soil, and they 
have also considerable power of disintegrating rocks. 

The decay of organic matter, helped by the various processes 
described, results in a supply of phosphoric acid and nitrogen in 
an available form for the nourishment of plants. Generally speak- 
ing, the more organic matter there is in a soil the more nitrogen 
does it contain, and the proportion of organic matter may be 
roughly considered as a direct measure of the fertility of a soil. 
Where kankar or other limestones occur in addition to humus 
matter, the evidence of fertility is certain. Generally speaking 
also the more mixed a soil is (i.e., the larger the number of rocks 
-and minerals out of which it is formed), the more fertile it is. 
Hence alluvial soils, and soils formed at the junction of two geolo- 
gical formations, are more fertile than soils resting on single for- 
mations. Compare, for instance, the comparatively poor crops 
obtained in the archaean soils of Singhbhum with the rich crops 
in the mixed geological formation a few miles outside the borders 
of this district beyond Katbari, in the Mourbhanj State. 



CHAPTER IV. 

PHYSICAL CLASSIFICATION OF SOILS. 

[Diluvial, Alluvial and Colluvial soils; Light, Heavy: Warm, Cold; Moist, 
Dry ; Garden-soils ; Pasture-land ; Wheat-soil ; Ek-jthftull and Do-jrtwxli 
land ; Stony, gravelly, gritty, sandy, clayey and calcareous soils ; Peat ; 
Marsh ; Mechanical analysis ; different kinds of loam ; Classifications of 
Settlement Officers of different Provinces ; Tilth, sub-soil and pans.] 

I^HE classification of soils into sedentary and transported has 
been already mentioned. Transported soils are again subdivided 
into diluvial and alluvial. Diluvial or drift soil consists of soil 
proper mixed up with stones and boulders, brought down by rain 
from hills. These are usually formed from various kinds of rocks. 
Alluvial soil consists of fragments or particles of minerals arranged 
according to their size and also partly according to their specific 
gravity. Alluvial soils are, as a rule, more fertile, containing 
fragments of rocks of different geological periods. Alluvial soils 
mixed with more 0* less angular fragments of the rocks on which 
they lie are called eoUuvial. 



PHYSICAL CLASSIFICATION OF SOILS. 31 

Soils are also classed as light and heavy, warm and cold, moist 

dry. They are also classified according to the crops which 
do best on them, or which ought to be grown on them for econo* 
mical reasons. The richest soils form garden-soils ; middling 
clay-loam soils, wheat-soils ; hard clay which is expensive to work, 
pasture-land ; poor harsh land, wood-soil. Soils are also classified 
according to their prevailing physical constituents. These are, 
stone, gravel, grit, sand, clay, calcium carbonate, vegetable matter 
and moisture. Soils are thus divided into stony, gravelly, gritty, 
sandy, clayey, calcareous, peaty and marshy. There is, however, 
no hard-and-fast distinction between one group and the next. It 
is difficult to say where sand begins and grit ends or where stone 
ends and gravel begins. Sand may be again siliceous, or. mica- 
ceous, or calcareous, or felspathic, that is, either containing a good 
deal of plant-food or none at all. Stones and pebbles are not imme- 
diately useful for plant-life, but they serve a useful purpose in re- 
taining moisture and acting as a reserve of plant-food. Stony soils 
therefore though usually poor are not so necessarily, and some stony 
soils, viz., those which contain chiefly fossils, limestones, basaltic 
stones and felspars, are rich. 

The mechanical analysis of soils is done by sifting and washing. 
Sifting separates the coarser particles and washing the finer par- 
ticles. The sample of soil to be analysed is to be spread on the 
floor of a dry and warm room ; lumps are to be broken up and 
crushed as drying proceeds. The large stones are then to be picked 
out, cleaned, dried and weighed. The dry soil is then to be passed 
through a sieve, the meshes of which are three millimeters in dia- 
meter. That which passes through is weighed as fine earth, and 
what remains on the sieve as gravel. The gravel is further washed 
and dried and weighed again as true gravel The fine earth is then 
boiled for an hour to break up lumps, and it is then put into a 
washing apparatus (e.g., Schulz's apparatus) in which by intro- 
ducing a flow of water at different rates, first the finest suspended 
matter is washed away and then successively the finest sand and 
coarser sand. 

Another process of mechanical analysis of soils consists in 
arranging a series of vessels side by side and allowing the water 
from the one to flow into the next. This also divides the soil into 
portions of different consistency. For either process it is necessary 
finally to let the water evaporate completely from each vessel and 
to weigh the dry residue. This analysis enables us to separate the 
soil into (1) stones ; (2) mechanical gravel ; (3) coarse sand ; (4) 
fine sand ; (5) finest sand, and (6) clay and impalpable matter. 
Clay-soil proper is that which contains only clay and very fine sand. 

A more rough and ready method of mechanical analysis 
consists in taking an ounce of soil, mixing it up with a pint of water, 
leaving it in the water for twenty-four hours, then shaking it up 
and allowing the heavier particles to settle for five minutes. The 
supernatant liquid can then be poured into another vgnel which 



32 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

may be allowed to stand for another twenty-four hours. The 
sandy part will be seen settled in one vessel and the clayey part 
in the other. These may be dried and weighed separately. 

If one hundred grains of dry soil, not peaty or unusually rich 
in vegetable matter, leave no more than ten grains of clay treated 
in this manner, it is called sandy soil ; if from ten to forty sandy 
loam ; if from forty to seventy a loamy soil ; if from seventy to 
eighty-five a clay loam ; from eighty-five to ninety-five a strong 
day soil ; and when no sand is separated at all by this process, it 
is a pure agricultural clay. Soil containing more than five per cent, 
of carbonate of lime is called marl, and more than twenty per cent. 
calcareous soil. Peaty soils contain more than five per cent, of 
humus or vegetable mould. Ferruginous soils contain over five 
per cent, of iron. Sandy soil is known in Bengal by the names 
Balu Balmat, Balsundar ; sandy loam by the names Balu-doas, 
Dhus and Dhusar ; loamy soil by the names Dods, Do-ras, Do-dns, 
Khirni, Pauru and Gurmat, and clay-soil by the names Kddd, 
Kewal and Matti-gar ; hard clay is known as Anthial matti and 
Ndgrd ; gritty soil is known as Kankuria or Rugri ; while red fer- 
ruginous loam is called Lal-mati. 

For practical purposes, however, the systems of classification 
of soils in vogue in Bengal and in the other Presidencies are 
numerous. They are based on various fundamental distinctions. 
Land is classified, for instance, as irrigated, irrigable and non- 
irrigable ; also as ek-phasli and do-phasli or single-cropped and 
double-cropped ; also as cultivated, culturable and non-culturable. 
The cultivated land may be also divided according to crops, thus 
as suna or bhadoi land and shall or low land suitable for aman 
paddy (called also aghani land) and rabi land. Vegetables, arahar, 
and sugarcane are classed with rabi crops ; indigo with bhadoi 
crops and sweet potatoes with aghani crops. Pan garden land is 
curiously enough classified with the uncropped area in settlement 
operations in Bengal and thatching grass also. The culturable 
area is sub-divided into (1) New (or less than three years') fallow ; 
(2) Old fallow ; (3) Groves ; (4) Grass ; (5) Bush ; (6) other kinds 
(including pan gardens, forest, bamboo clumps, threshing floors, 
waste adjoining village sites, temporary sheds, pathways and ex- 
cavations). The non-culturable area is sub-divided into (1) Village 
sites ; (2) Sites of temples and burial ground ; (3) Unculturable 
waste as, for instance, * ' usar ; ' ' (4) Tanks ; (5) Rivers ; (6) Uncul- 
turable Jhils and Churs ; (7) Government roads ; (8) other roads ; 
(9) other kinds of unculturable lands (e.g., camping grounds, embank- 
ments, mounds, railroads, barracks, bungalows, brick and lime kilns, 
permanent cattle-sheds, serais, etc.). Land is also classified as 
dwdl, doem, soem and chdhdram, or 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th class ; 
also as (1) bastu, (2) udbastu, (3) garden, (4) bamboo and orchard, 
(5) mathan, (6) bilan, and (7) dearh. Each of these is sub-divided 
into dwdl, doem, soem and chdhdram. Lands are also classified 
according to proprietary rights : e.g. (1) Permanently Settled 



PHYSICAL CLASSIFICATION OP SOILS. 33 

lands ; (2) Waste-lands for which revenue has never been settled ; 
(3) Temporarily settled estates or tenures the property of Govern 
ment or of private individuals ; (4) Estates or tenures purchased 
on account of Government or escheated or forfeited to Govern- 
ment ; (5) Resumed revenue free lands ; (6) Islands thrown up in 
navigable rivers ; (7) Alluvial accretions ; (8) Lands acquired but 
no longer required for public purposes ; (9) Lands annexed by con- 
quest ; (10) Occupancy holding ; (11) Non-occupancy Khudkasta 
and Paikasta holdings. A revenue officer describing a piece of 
land has thus several principles of classification to bear in^mind. 
They all have some relation to the intrinsic value of the soil ; and 
the farmer also must look into all these principles before deciding 
the value of a property he wishes to buy for agricultural pur- 
poses. The fixity of tenure and of rent is of the utmost value to the 
tenant in encouraging him to go in for agricultural improvements. 
In addition to fertility and fixity of tenure, the following con- 
siderations also affect the value of lands : 

(1) Cliiftate, healthy or unhealthy. 

(2) Whether local labour is abundant, industrious and skilful. 

(3) Amount of rainfall whether morethansixty inches perannum. 

(4) Whether the tract has been subject to famine or local 
failure of crops due to drought or inundations. 

(5) Whether the land is level and well exposed to sunshine, 
or whether it is steep ravine land. 

(6) Distance from the purchaser's residence. 

(7) Vicinity to good markets. 

(8) Means of communication with the markets. 

(9) Facilities for irrigation, for instance, the depth of water 
in wells. 

(10) Depredations by cattle, wild boars, rabbits, etc. 

(11) Local supply of manures. 

In the United Provinces the following classification of soils is 
generally in vogue : 

1st. Gohani land or land near villages and towns. In 
village gohani land the crops usually grown are, wheat, sugarcane 
for ywr-making or ukh, vegetables, maize, radish, carrots and 
chillies. In town gohani land, market-gardening is practised, that 
is to say, the growing of potatoes, cabbages and cauliflower, chew- 
ing canes or poundash and tobacco. 

2nd. Loam. Wheat, barley, gram, jowar, cotton, with 
arahar and maize are usually grown on such lands. Jowar, bajri 
and cotton are grown, as a rule, with arahar both on gohani and 
loamy soils. When the land is very rich, arahar which occupies 
it for a whole year, is not grown in mixture. 

3rd!. Sandy loam. Bajri, kalai, barley with gram* jowar> 
mustard with wheat and other rabi crops, are grown on such soils. 

4^. Clay loam. Barley mixed with gram (or gram -alone) 
or with pea (or pea alone), sugarcane, mung and paddy* are grown 
on such soils. 

M t HA -JPB 



HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 



5th. Clay-soil near tanks. The same crops are chosen for such 
soils as for clay-loam. Only these are harder to work and, being 
more subject to floods, are more uncertain. 

Qth. Bhur or sandy soils. (a) near rivers (dearh land), suitable 
for growing melons and other similar crops : (b) in fields suitable 
for growing bajri along with til or kalai or mung, also barley with 
wheat or mustard. 

1th. Kankreli soil. Full of calcareous nodules, suitable for 
growing gram and leguminous crops generally. Bajri, jowar, 
urd gram, barley, pea and mustard are the usual crops grown on 
kankreli soils. 

In the Madras Presidency the following classification of soils 
is generally in vogue : 1st. Karisol, or Black soil, No. 1 and 
No. 2. 2nd. Seval, or Red loam, No. 1 and No. 2. SRD. Guru- 
many or Clay-loam, No. 1 and No. 2. th. Veppal, or dry and 
hungry sandy soil, which is so common in Madras, No. 1 and No. 2. 
5th. Pottal, or barren soil, either too saline or too ferruginous 
(laterite) to grow crops of any value. 

In the Central Provinces the recognised divisions are Kali, Nos. 1 
and 2 (i.e., Black soil) ; Morun, Nos. 1 and 2 (Loam) ; Kherdi, 
Nos. 1 and 2 (Sandy soil) ; and Berdi, Nos. 1 and 2 (Stony soil). 

In the Bombay Presidency, Revenue officers follow a very 
systematic method of classifying soils. This method, however, 
is unsuitable for deep alluvial soils where depth is of no practical 
value for classifying soils which are all very deep. Soils in Bombay 
are divided into nine classes according to their depth and three 
orders according to their colour and texture. The following table 
gives an idea of the system followed : 








Order I. 


Order II. 


Order III. 






1 
1 


Uniform 
fine texture, 


Uniform 
coarse 
texture, 


Gravelly or 
loose, friable 
texture, 


REMARKS. 


w 


<k 


black to 


lighter in 


colour light 




3 


G 


dark brown 


colour, usual- 


brown to 







3 


in colour. 


ly red. 


grey. 




1 


16 


If cubit or 
more 






A greater depth than If 
cubit does not affect the 


2 


14 


1$ cubit 


1| cubit or 




fertility of land. Soils of 








more 




the 3rd order are never 


3 


12 


*-4 


1J cubit 




more than 1 cubit deep. 


4 


10 


1 


i 




If the rent of the 1st 












class soil is Re. 1 that of 


5 


S 


1 


* 




the 9th class soil is esti- 












mated at 2 as. 


6 


6 


i 


^ 


1 cubit. 




7 


4i 


i 


* 


2 M 




8 


3 




i 


J 




9 


2 






i M 





The following conventional sighs for peculiarities or defects 
of soils are in use in the Bombay Presidency : 

~ Denotes a mixture containing nodules of limestone. 



o o 



CHEMICAL CLASSIFICATION OF SOILS. 36 

V An inordinate admixture of sand. 

/ A sloping surface. 

X Absence of cohesion among soil-particles. 

A More or less imperviousness to water. 

Liability to be swept away by running water. 

a Excess of surface-water. 

Besides the ordinary division into surface soil and subsoil 
layers, in between, known as pans, sometimes occur. These are 
of three kinds : (1) Moor-band pan which exist as an impervious 
deposit a few inches below the surface. Salts of iron combining 
with dead plants washed down by rain, oxidise and form a cement 
which require to be broken up by strong subsoil cultivation ; (2) 
Calcareous pan is the result of long continued shallow ploughing 
of soils rich in lime, the lime sinking gradually and forming a cement ; 
(3) Hard pan. The cementing material in this case may be oxide 
of iron or alkaline silicates or calcium carbonate. Pans should 
be broken up by deep ploughing. The use of country ploughs, 
however, prevents the formation of pans. Where European ploughs 
are used, subsoilers may have to be employed occasionally in break- 
ing down or disturbing pans. 



CHAPTER V. 
CHEMICAL CLASSIFICATION OF SOILS. 

[Chemical composition of plants ; Classification according to chemical require- 
ment of plants (moist, nitrogenous, phosphatic, potassic, calcareous, ferru- 
ginous, siliceous, alkali soils and sulphurous soils) ; Excess of soluble salts, 
over two parts of solids dissolved in 1,000 parts of water, injurious. Why 
urine burns up plants ; Schubler's classification ; Proportions of nitrogen 
and phosphorus needed ; Vi lie's normal manure ; five-plot and ten- plot 
experiments.] 

PLANTS derive the bulk of their food from the air and from 
water. The largest proportion of a plant consists either of carbon 
or of water. Potatoes contain as much as seventy-five per cent, 
of water, carrots and beetroot eighty or ninety per cent., a tree 
felled when the leaves have shed in the cold weather contains from 
thirty to fifty per cent, of water, and when it is in leaf it contains 
forty to sixty per cent, of water. The carbon or the charcoal portion 
of a plant also varies very much, but it usually comes next in im- 
portance to water. The carbon is fixed in plants with the help of 
sunlight acting on chlorophyll granules, out of the carbon dioxide 
of the air. Air contains, on the average, about four parts of carbon 
dioxide in every ten thousand parts, and the carbon of plants is 
therefore derived without any trouble on the part of the cultivator. 
The nitrogen of plants is partly derived from the atmosphere by 
means of rainfall without any trouble, but it is also derived mainly 
from the soil and manures applied to it. The presence of nitrates 
and ammonia in the soil is therefore of great importance. In fact, 
the amount of nitrogen present in a soil mainly determine^ its 
value. Besides water, carbon and nitrogen, thera are also certain 



36 HANDBOOK OP AGRICULTURE. 

other constituents of plants which are essential, though usually 
occurring in minuter proportions. Plants depend entirely on soils 
for these minute but essential constituents. When a plant is 
burnt into ashes, its carbon, water and nitrogen pass away, and 
the ash left always contains the following : phosphoric acid, sul- 
phuric acid, potash, lime, magnesia and iron as protoxide (FeO) 
and sesquioxide Fe 8 3 , soda, silica and chlorine are also' nearly 
always present, though some plants can do without these food 
constituents. Alumina is only sometimes present. 

According to the chemical requirements of plants, soils can 
be divided into : (1) Aqueous or boggy soils ; (2) Nitrogenous soils ; 
(3) Phosphatic soils ; (4) Potassic soils ; (5) Calcareous soils ; (6) 
Ferruginous soils ; (7) Siliceous soils ; (8) Alkali soils (containing an 
abundance of lime, magnesia, soda, and potash) ; and (9) Sulphureous 
soils. Water is of the highest value, then nitrogen, then phos- 
phorus, then potash, then lime and magnesia, then sulphur, then 
iron, and lastly silica, chlorine and soda. The physical importance 
of silica or sand, as making the soil freer and lighter to work and for 
roots to penetrate, is very great, but not its chemical importance. 
The chemical importance of the soluble silicates in soils is, however, 
very great. The importance of chlorine and soda as present, for 
instance, in common salt for certain crops such as cocoanuts, 
mangoes, beet (not sugar-beet), onions, carrots, radishes, potatoes, 
cabbages, cotton, cashew-nuts, date, breadfruit tree, asparagus, 
is undoubted, but the presence of these is not essential in the soil 
for every crop. Potash can replace soda in some plants, and the 
presence of potash is therefore doubly important. The absence 
of any of the essential constituents of plants, just enumerated, 
makes a soil quite sterile. But it is rare to meet with a soil wanting 
altogether in moisture, or nitrogen, or phosphoric acid, or potash, 
or lime, or magnesia, or iron, or sulphuric acid. Plants generally 
grow in any soil which contains a sufficient proportion of these. 
The presence of an excess of certain salts or of some substances poi- 
sonous to plants may render the soil sterile in spite of the presence 
in sufficient quantities of all the essential constituents. Nearly 
every soil contains all the essential constituents for the growth of 
vegetation, and even the well-water or drainage-water percolating 
through soils contains all the essential constituents for the growth 
of vegetation, so much so, that water-culture with such well or 
drainage-water alone has been successful with reference to a good 
many plants, including oats. It is fr<>m solutions that plants can 
absorb food. The solubility is helped by the organic acids and the 
carbon-dioxide excreted by the rootlets. Soil digested in water 
ought to part with one part of solid for every thousand parts of 
water for plants to make proper use of the solid. If over two 
p&rts of solid are dissolved in every thousand parts of water, the 
rootlets cannot make proper use of the food, nor if less than one 
part in two thousand parts. A soil can be too rich in soluble plant- 
foods or too popjr.^ A soil becomes too rich if in the dry season it is 



CHEMICAL CLASSIFICATION OF SOILS. 37 

manured with fresh urine which contains nearly two per cent, of urea, 
a substance which can be directly used by plants as food. But a 
two per cent, solution even of a valuable plant-food is at least ten 
times too rich. This accounts for Bengal cultivators regarding 
urine as injurious to crops, though it is really more valuable in the 
fresh state than cowdung. Diluted with ten times as much water 
urine proves a most excellent fertilizer of soils. As nearly all soils 
contain all constituents of plant-food, the chemical classification 
of soils is based not on absolute but only on relative grounds. 

Schubler's classification is based on a consideration of only 
four of the proximate constituents of soils, viz., Humus, Lime, 
Clay and Sand. It takes no direct cognizance of the proportion 
of nitrogen, phosphoric acid, and potash which are the important 
constituents of soils, the excess or deficiency of which chiefly deter- 
mines the fertility or barrenness of soils. But humus implies 
nitrogen; and lime not only lime itself, but also usually phosphoric 
acid, clay, potash, sand, and the soluble silicates, indicate the 
nature of fertility. Schubler's classification has also the merit of 
being easily applicable in practice to ordinary farming, as it does 
not depend on elaborate chemical analysis but only on such rough 
and ready methods of analysis as an intelligent and educated 
farmer can easily command. 

To determine the class of any soil according to Schubler's 
Table, the following direction should be followed : 

(1) Take one hundred grains of a well-pulverized soil after 
drying it for half an hour in an air or oil-bath at 250F. Heat it 
in a platinum crucible over a clear flame for half an hour, stirring 
the mass occasionally. Cool it in a desiccator and weigh. The 
loss of weight is calculated as Humus. 

(2) Digest the residue in the platinum crucible in a phial 
with cold diluted hydrochloric acid in the proportion of half an 
ounce of acid to ten ounces of water to one hundred grains of dry 
soil. Let the digesting go on for half an hour with occasional 
stirring. Filter through a weighed filter-paper, wash with distilled 
water until the water passing through ceases to give acid reaction 
tested with litmus paper. Dry the whole at 250F. ; weigh the 
substance in the filter paper ; deduct the weight of the filter-paper. 
The loss of weight represents very roughly the amount of 
lime. 

(3) The contents of the filter-paper are now carefully removed 
into a tall glass cylinder, and the impalpable matter separated 
from the sand and coarser particles by repeated washing with 
water. Stir well, let it subside for a minute and then pour off the 
supernatant liquid. The impalpable matter thus separated is 
collected on a filter, dried as before and weighed. The weight 
represents the weight of clay. 

(4) The remainder is sand. 

* Proceeding on the above method we can refer any soil to 
Schubler's Table which is given on the following pages. 



Agricultural designation e 
general relations with refe 
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[Wheat, barley, 
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42 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

The fertility of soils from the chemical point of view depends 
mainly on the presence in sufficient quantities of four essential 
constituents of plant-food, viz., nitrogen, phosphoric acid, potash 
and lime. In fact, lime and potash being almost invariably 
present in sufficient quantities, the excess or deficiency of nitrogen 
and phosphoric acid is mainly looked to in judging of the chemical 
character of soils. If a soil contains *1 to *5% of nitrogen and *08 
to -5 of phosphoric acid, it may be classed as a good soil. Soils 
containing 1% of potash or lime (the latter not as insoluble silicate 
but as carbonate) are to be considered quite rich in these substan- 
ces. A sample of dry soil showing *1% of nitrogen, phosphoric 
acid and potash would yield out of a depth of nine inches, two to 
three thousand pounds of each of these constituents per acre ; but 
no crop ordinarily takes up more than fifty to sixty pounds per 
acre of these substances. So that, properly tilled, a soil even left 
without manure would raise hundreds of crops. A soil containing 
'2% of nitrogen (calculated as ammonia), '2% of phosphoric acid 
and "5%. of potash, and weighing when perfectly dry l,600,0001bs. 
per acre to a depth of five inches, is capable of affording 3,2001bs. 
of nitrogen (calculated as ammonia), 3,2001bs. of phosphoric acid 
and 8,0001bs. of potash. A good crop of twenty maunds of wheat 
and thirty maunds of wheat-straw per acre would not require more 
than 401bs. of nitrogen, 201bs. of phosphoric acid and 261bs. of 
potash. The object of manuring is to give a larger quantity of 
really available plant-food to growing crops and to help in dissolv- 
ing the plant-food of the soil, and thus augmenting its quantity. 
A judiciously manured soil, also forest and pasture land, may go 
on getting more and more .fertile. So few pounds of the chemical 
constituents of manures are taken up ordinarily by crops, that it 
is easy to more than recoup these by the use of proper manures. 
To ascertain, however, whether a particular soil needs the addition 
of any one of these constituents, whether nitrogen, phosphoric 
acid, potash or lime in the form of manure, or if it is already suffi- 
ciently rich in this or that constituent, and it will be superfluous 
to use one or another of the manures, it is not absolutely necessary 
to have recourse to chemical analysis. A ten-plot experiment may 
be made after Ville's method to understand the chemical character 
of a particular Boil. There should be ten equal plots manured in 
the following way : 

No. 1. Sodium nitrate (Na NO.), 2201bs. or Ammonium 
Chloride (NH t 01), 1401bs., i.e., the quantity containing 361bs, 
of nitrogen, should be applied per acre. 

No. 2. Unmanured plot. 

No. 3. Sodium phosphate (Na HPO,), 441bs., i.e., the 
quantity containing 221bs. of phosphoric acid should be applied 
per acre. 

No, 4. Unmanured plot. * 

No, 5. Quick-lime (CaO), 401bs. should be applied per acre 
after slaking. 



CHEMICAL CLASSIFICATION OF SOILS. 43 

No. 6. Unmanured plot. 

No. 7. Potassium Chloride (KC1), 501bs., i.e., the quantity 
equivalent to 321bs. of potash should be applied per acre. 

No. 8. Unmanured plot. 

Nos. 9 and 10 unmanured plots. 

The plots need not be more than a few yards in length and 
width. They should be sown very thin with a mixed crop of 
gram and maize or some other cereal and pulse crop together. The 
effect of lime and potash will be manifest on the pulse crop 
and that of nitrogen and phosphoric acid and also potash on the 
cereal crop. The same quality and the same number of seeds 
should be sown in each plot at similar distances and the same 
treatment given to all. The crops must be protected from para- 
sites and pests, from drought and from water-logging. The rainy 
season should be avoided for this experiment, and fast-growing 
crops that take only three or four months to mature, chosen. The 
weight of grain and straw of the cereal and also of the leguminous 
crop should be noted. Such experiments are more usually con- 
ducted now in pots than in the field to secure accuracy at all 
seasons. If the plot which has received nitrate of soda shows 
special increase in the case of the cereal but not so in the case of 
the pulse crop, the soil should be considered rather poor in nitrogen, 
especially if the yield of the cereal in the unmanured plots is found 
to be invariably less than that of the plot manured with nitrate of 
soda. 

If the sodium phosphate does not show any benefit, the soil 
should be considered only poor in nitrogen, especially if the yield 
of the cereal in the unmanured plots is found to be invariably less 
than that of the plot manured with nitrate of soda. 

If the sodium phosphate does not show any benefit, the soil 
should be considered rich in phosphates. 

If the plot manured with lime shows better yield, especially 
in the case of the pulse crop as compared to the yield from tin- 
manured plots, the land should be considered deficient in lime. 

If the potassium-chloride plot shows no benefit in either case, 
the land should be considered rich in potash. 

If the cereal is benefited chiefly in the weight of the straw by 
the nitrate of soda, the soil should be considered poor in nitrogen. 
If the sodium phosphate plot shows better yield of grain, the soil 
should be considered wanting in phosphoric acid. 

The object of having buffer plots without manure, is to keep 
the effects of the different manures quite distinct. The plots should 
be protected from heavy rain or the experiment conducted in the 
rabi season, lest there should be overflowing from one plot to the 
other. Watering should be done gently and care should be taken 
that there is no mixing up of soils, weeds, and crops of different 
plots. This ten-plot experiment is recommended for practical 
purposes in judging of the chemical value of soils. It will not give 
absolutely correct ideas as to the potentiality of a soil, but it will 



44 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

give a very fair idea of the available plant-foods. If the plots are 
quite detached, one unmanured plot will be found sufficient, and 
in that case it will be a five-plot experiment. As experiments 
should be always conducted in duplicate, two such series of five- 
plots will also make a ten-plot experiment. If none of the appli- 
cations prove of any use, i.e., if the yield of the cereal and of the 
pulse crop are about the same in all the manured and unmanured 
plots, the soil must be considered extremely rich in all available 
plant-foods ; and if notwithstanding all these applications one 
does not get any yield or only a very poor yield of pulses and 
cereals, the soil should be considered barren or very nearly so, 
that is containing (1) an excess of some salt, or (2) deficiency of 
some essential constituent, or (3) some poisonous substance. 

Another method of carrying out this experiment is to apply 
a mixture of all the four manures to one plot, the same without 
lime to the next, the same without potash to a third, the same 
without phosphoric acid to a fourth, and the same without nitrogen 
to a fifth. This is called Ville's Five-Plot Experiment. There 
should, however, be unmanured plots for comparison, and the 
more the number of such plots, the more accurate is the check. 
Pot-culture experiments have given very useful results in Japan, 
as the conditions that are desired can be more readily controlled in 
pots than in fields. 



CHAPTER VI. 
CHEMICAL CLASSIFICATION OF INDIAN SOILS. 

[Chemical composition of (1) Indo-Gangetic alluvium, of (2) Black cotton-soil, or 
(3) Red soils, of (4) Laterite soils, of (5) Deccan alluvial tracts, of (6) Dharwar 
soil ; Peculiarities of Indian soils with reference to Iron, Manganese, Lime, 
Magnesia, Potash, Phosphoric acid, Sulphuric acid, Carbonic acid, and 
Nitrogen ; available Phosphoric acid in Indian soils, high ; Indian soils poor 
except in special localities.] 

c< THE four main types of soil," says Dr. Leather, " which 
occupy by far the greater part of the Indian cultivated area, are 
(1) the Indo-Gangetic alluvium, (2) the black cotton-soil or regur, 
(3) the red soils lying on the metamorphic rocks of Madras, and (4) 
the laterite soils which are met with in many parts of India/' In 
addition* to these we might mention (5) Stretches of alluvium 
which are situated at the mouths of the Mahanadi, Godaveri, and 
other rivers, which bear no comparison to the Indo-Gangetic allu- 
vium. (6) The soil covering the Dharwar rocks which is also quite 
different from the red soils of the metamorphic rocks of the Madras 
Presidency. Soils of other kinds also occur in smaller patches, 
but the .main types of Indian soils are four alluvium, regur, the 
Madras red soils, and those popularly called laterite. The com- 
position of the last two classes of soil varies very much* 



CHEMICAL CLASSIFICATION OF INDIAN SOILS. 45 

Alluvium The soils of the Indo-Gangetic alluvium are 
generally of fine texture, containing no pebbles, and the only par- 
ticles larger than sand to be met with in the alluvium consist of 
kankar, deposited within a few feet of the surface. The character 
varies within certain limits. In most places the alluvium is yellow 
loam. In some places it is sandy, and in others clayey. The clay 
is generally bluish grey. Occasionally also sand dunes or hills 
have been formed by the wind. 

The following tables furnish the analyses by Dr. Leather 
of the principal Indo-Gangetic alluvium soils : 

/. Sandy soil from Ison sand belt near Cawnpore : 

Insoluble Silicates and Sand . . . . 91'72% 

Oxide of Iron . . . . . . . . 2'36 

Alumina . . . . . . ; . 2-92 

Lime . . . . . . . . '35 

Magnesia . . . . . . . . '78 

Potash . . . . . . . . '33 

Soda .. .. .. '08 

Phosphoric acid (P a 5 ) . . . . . . -08 

Sulphuric acid (SO.) .. .. '04 

Carbonic acid (CO,) .. .. *27 

* Organic matter and combined water . . 1*07 



100-00 

* Containing -027% of Nitrogen. 

//. Sandy loams : 

From Ison Ganges From Burdwan 

Doab. Experimental 

Farm. 

Insoluble Silicates and Sand . . 88*08% 84'31% 

Oxide of Iron . . . . 3'10 5'58 

Alumina . . . . 4'38 6*09 

Oxide of Manganese . . Nil '12 

Lime . . . . '47 

Magnesia . . . . *32 

Potash . . . . '64 

Soda . . . . '09 

Phosphoric acid (P 2 S ) . . '08 

Sulphuric acid (S0 8 ) . . '05 

Carbonic acid (COJ . . -37 

Organic matter and combined water *2*42 








100-00 100-00 



* Containing Nitrogen = '081 per cent, 
t Containing Nitrogen = '042 per cent. 



46 



HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 



///. Loamy soils : 



Insoluble Silicates and Sand 

Oxide of Iron 

Alumina 

Oxide of Manganese 

Lime 

Magnesia 

Potash 

Soda 

Phosphoric acid (P a 3 ) 

Sulphuric acid (S0 t ) 

Carbonic acid (COJ 

*0rganic matter and combined water 



' Containing Nitrogen 



Cawnpore. 


Patna. ] 


Dumraon 






Experi- 






mental 






Farm. 


. . 84-84% 


82-96% 


86-82% 


4-52 


4-59 


4-09 


5-30 


5-11 


4'57 


Nil , 


11 


10,, 


91 , 


1-78 


30,, 


52 , 


1-53 


76 


16 , 


66 


J -4S 


03 , 


30,, 


\ * ,> 


10 , 


13,, 


08,, 


Trace. 


Trace. 


Trace 


71 


1-10 


01 


water 2-91 


1-73 


2-79 


100-00 


100-00 


100-00 


046% 


045% 


049% 



IV. Clay loams : 



Insoluble Silicates and Sand 

Oxide of Iron 

Alumina 

Oxide of Manganese 

Lime 



Potash 
Soda 

Phosphoric acid 
Sulphuric acid 

Carbonic acid .. .. 

^Organic matter and combined 
wat$r 



Bahr, Dumraon Sibpur 
Patna. Farm. Farm. 



72-64% 80-90% 

7-58 6-12 

9-89 6-50 

14 '14 

1-01 2-07 

1-64 1-17 



82 
07 



73 

08 



* ) J V/V/ } y 

Trace Trace 
28 -05 



73-58% 

6-36 

7-93 

11 
1-52 
1-61 



5-93 



2-24 



64 

11 

03 

1-35 

6'76 



100-00 100-00 100-00 



* Containing Nitrogen 



061% 



041% 



065% 



CHEMICAL CLASSIFICATION OF INDIAN SOILS. 47 

Two other samples of Sibpur Farm Soil analysed by Dr. Lea- 
ther gave the following result : 

Insoluble Silicates and Sand . . . . 78*95 72*88 

Soluble Silicates . . . . -03 -28 

Oxide of Iron(Fe fl O,) .. . . 4-73 6*28 

Alumina (A1 2 8 ) .. .. 4*47 7*96 

Oxide of Manganese (MnO) . . . . -11 *12 

Lime(CaO) .. .. 2*07 2*03 

Magnesia (MgO) . . . . 2*00 2 f 14 

Alkalis (soda and potash) . . . . -08 T79 

Sulphuric acid (S0 3 ) . . .. Trace Trace 

Phosphoric acid (P 4 5 ) .. .. -11 12 

Carbonic acid (CO*) . . . . 3*82 3*95 

Organic matter and combined water . . 3*63 2*45 



100*00 100*00 

Nitrogen (Total) .. -063 -065 

The above three analyses give some idea of the variableness 
of composition of the soil of Sibpur Farm, chiefly in lime and the 
alkalis. 

V. Calcareous soil from Pratapgarh (Oudh) : 

Insoluble Silicates and Sand . . . . . . 57*52% 

Oxide of Iron . . . . . . 3*23 

Alumina . . . . . . 3*39 

Oxide of Manganese . . . . . . Nil 

Lime .. .. .. 14*54 

Magnesia . . . . . . 1-86 

Potash . . . . . . -44 

Soda . . . . . . -02 

Phosphoric acid . . . . . . *18 

Sulphuric acid . . . . . . '08 

Carbonic acid .. .. .. 11*42 

*0rganic matter and combined water . . . . 7-32 



100-00 

* Containing Nitrogen .. .. .. '18 per cent. 

Though calcareous soils are rare in India, beds of kankar com- 
monly underlie the Indo-Gangetic alluvium, the black cotton-soil 
and other soils. The surface-soil of the alluvium is usually free 
from kankar, except where there is an outcrop of the bed of kankar. 
In the old alluvium and in the black cotton-soil, the kankar 
occurs in beds as well as mixed up with the soil. Some of the re- 
gur soils contain as much as ten per cent, of calcium carbonate. 
Kankar often occurs on the surface of the rocky soils in many parts 
of the Santhal Parganas in such profusion that cart-loads of lumps 
of kankar are collected for six annas each. The soil of the Sibpur 



48 HANDBOOK OF AOBIOULTUBB. 

Farm is rich in calcium carbonate (about two per cent.). The 
amount of phosphoric acid also in Indo-Gangetic alluvial soils i 
usually more than in other Indian soils. The amount of potash 
in the samples examined is sufficient. The amount of nitrogen 
and organic matter in soils from the Indo-Gangetic alluvium is 
usually low. The amount of oxide of iron and alumina in the 
Indo-Gangetic alluvium is usually higher than in European loams 
and clays. The sandy soils contain about two and a half per 
cent, of these. The proportion is higher in loams, while in clays 
it is from six to eight per cent. Sulphates are practically absent 
from the regur, the red-soils of Madras and the laterite soils, but 
alluvial soils sometimes contain a small amount. 

Regur -We next come to the black cotton-soils or regurs. 
Their composition is not very variable in soluble silicates and sand 
(65 to 75%). The amount of oxide of iron usually ranges from five 
to nine per cent., while the amount of alumina is usually a little 
greater. Madras regur soils contain more alumina than iron, that 
from the Central Provinces more iron than alumina. Manganese 
is always present in small amount. Lime occurs in all these soils 
as calcium carbonate and calcium silicate. Where there is more 
than a small quantity present, calcium carbonate usually predom- 
inates. Regurs usually contain from two to five per cent, of 
lime. The potash is present in usually high amount in regur 
soils. The phosphoric acid is usually present in only small quan- 
tity, not more than 1 per cent, is the rule. Regurs are poor in 
nitrogen like most other Indian soils. ' k Organic matter and com- 
bined water ' ' occur in very high proportion, but it is chiefly 
combined water and not organic matter. In heating, the regur 
changes colour from black to dark-brown and contracts very 
much in volume. This is due to the loss of the water of hydra- 
tion from hydrated ferric oxide and alumina, in which substances 
the regur is specially rich. The regur is rather poor in organic 
matter and nitrogen, and its richness is chiefly due to its friability 
and its power of retaining moisture. Indeed the outturn of crops 
from unmanured land at the Nagpur Farm is lower than from simi- 
lar loamy soil in the Gangetic alluvium. At any rate, it is Dr. 
Leather's opinion, that it is a common mistake to suppose that 
the black cotton-soil of Southern India is very rich, and it is 
only richet than the surrounding gravelly red and brown soils. 
If regur be boiled with concentrated sulphuric acid for several 
hours, the insoluble residue (i.e., the silicates) becomes very dark* 
brown in colour. Other soils similarly treated usually give a 
white residue. The black colouring matter of the silicates 
digested with strong sulphuric acid, if due to organic matter, would 
disappear under this treatment, and it must be concluded that the 
blackness of the silicates in regur is due to some dark-coloured 
mineral and not to organic matter. This has now been shown 
to be largely magnetic oxide of iron. 



CHEMICAL CLASSIFICATION OP INDIAN SOILS. 

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50 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

Brown alluvial soils of Madras. These soils which have been sep- 
arately classed by Dr. Leather, the loamy ones contain high pro- 
portions of iron and alumina, the amount of lime is small and the 
amount of magnesia high. They are, as a rule, rich, in potash 
but not in phosphoric acid and nitrogen. These are believed to 
be very fertile soils, but the analyses do not show them to be any 
more fertile than the Indo-Gangetic alluvium, 

Rocky Soils. With these and with alluvium soils we have 
chiefly to do in Bengal, and we give below the figures of Dr. Leather 
in connection with the analyses of some of the rocky soils of Hazari- 
bagh, Lohardaga, Singhbhum and Manbhum. Most of these 
soils are gneissose and granitic soils, including basaltic soils. True 
laterite occurs in a band and in patches ; and where it is too stiff 
and ferruginous, it is barren for ordinary agricultural crops. 

The Red Soils of Madras. The amount of lime in these is small 
or only moderate, that of magnesia also is not high, while that 
of phosphoric acid is uniformly low. The proportion of potash 
is indifferently high or low, that of ferric oxide and alumina 
rather high. The proportion of nitrogen and of organic matter is 
low. They resemble the rocky soils in composition, the main 
difference being in the proportion of phosphoric acid. Some of 
the rocky soils have a high proportion of this constituent, and others 
very low, whilst the Madras red soils of Coimbatore, Madura, Kar- 
nool, Trichinopoly and Kistna are all uniformly poor in this con- 
stituent, the extreme variation in the samples analysed by Dr. Lea- 
ther being between '04 and "11 per cent. 

General remarks about Indian soils- Iron usually occurs in larger 
proportion than in English soils in the Indo-Gangetic alluvium 
two to seven per cent., in the regur four to eleven per cent., in the 
Madras red soils three and a half to ten per cent., and in Madras 
alluvium five to seventeen per cent. The proportion of alumina 
is also high in Indian soils. In the Indo-Gangetic alluvium three 
to ten per cent., regur s six to fourteen per cent., red soils one and a 
half to fifteen per cent., rocky soils seven and a half to fifteen 
per cent., Madras alluvium six to fifteen per cent, in loams, but 
less in sandy soils. Coffee soils of the Madras Presidency 
contain as much as seventeen to twenty per cent, of this 
constituent. 

Lime* occurs more usually as silicate than as carbonate. 
Calculated as oxide, the figures run as follows : Gangetic 
alluvium, two to three per cent., regur one to eight per cent., 
Madras red soils, laterites and Madras alluvium less than one per 
cent. 

An English farmer usually aims at maintaining a fair propor- 
tion of lime in his soil, say about one per cent. This is for the pur- 
pose of having free basic matter to combine with the organic acids 
as soon as they are formed from the humus, and they are con- 
tinuously being formed. The proportion of humus, however, in 



CHEMICAL CLASSIFICATION OP INDIAN SOILS. 61 

English soils is higher, and so it is doubtful if those Indian soils 
which contain less than one per cent, of lime really need to be brought 
up to the standard aimed at by English farmers. Lime as a plant- 
food is required only in a very minute proportion. The laterite 
soils which are particularly poor in organic matter are also poor in 
lime. They would not be benefited by any addition of lime alone. 
On the whole, it may be said Indian soils are rich in lime. 

The potash is not usually deficient in Indian soils, though it 
can hardly be considered as specially abundant. Its application 
as manure would be often beneficial. 

Phosphoric acid occurs normally in smaller amount in Indian 
soils than is customary in those of Western Europe. Of no class 
of Indian soils examined except the soils from Meerut district and 
the coffee soils of Shevaroy Hills, Madras, can it be said that it 
comes up to the English standard. Dr. Leather is obliged to admit 
that Dr. Voelcker's opinion that phosphoric acid is "more abun- 
dantly distributed in Indian than in English soils" is erroneous. 
Some of the soils of the Meerut district only analysed by Dr. Leather 
contains as much as *5 per cent, of phosphoric acid. 

But although the proportion of total phosphoric acid in Indian 
soils is decidedly meagre, the proportion of available phosphoric 
acid is often not deficient, and it is the available phosphoric acid 
that immediately affects the question of fertility or of produce. 
The application of bone-meal has given the best results in Bankura 
and Burdwan, and not such a good result in Hooghly and Birbhum, 
applied to the paddy crop in conjunction with saltpetre. In some 
instances a remarkably good result was obtained from this combina- 
tion, though not from saltpetre alone. This shows the value of 
phosphates for certain localities, but where these localities are, 
must be determined in each case by chemical analysis or field ex- 
periment. It is a great mistake to suppose that phosphates have 
only a doubtful value for Indian soils and that the export of bones 
can go on with impunity. Dr. Bernard Dyer, of London, has dis- 
covered an empirical method of finding out the available phos- 
phoric acid and potash in soils. This consists in submitting soils 
to the action of a one per cent, solution of citric acid for seven days 
and determining the proportion of phosphoric acid and potash in 
the solution. Dr. Dyer aimed at demonstrating whether the results 
of such treatment would correspond with the known fertility of 
some of the standard soils of the Rothamsted experimental farm. 
The result of the research showed conclusively that a very close 
correspondence exists between the amount of phosphates and pot- 
ash thus dissolved from the soils and their known fertility in the 
matter of phosphates and potash. Dr. Dyer concluded from his 
research that "when a soil is found to contain as little as about 
01 per cent, of phosphoric acid soluble in a one per cent, solution 
of citric acid, it would be justifiable to assume that it stands in 
immediate need of phosphatic manure." Dr. Leather applying Dr. 
Dyer's method in a few cases showed that even in typical alluvial 



5SJ HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

and regur soils the proportion of available phosphates is usually 
over '01 per cent. In two cases he found the proportion less than 
this. The soils of the Cawnpore, Dumraon and Nagpur experi- 
mental farms contain *05 to '09 per cent, of total phosphoric acid, 
but soil from only one plot in the case of the Nagpur and one plot 
in the case of Dumraon farm showed the proportion of available 
phosphates to be less than '01 per cent. About one-third or one- 
fourth of the total phosphates is usually in an available form in 
Indian soils, while in English unmanured soils the proportion of 
available phosphates is about one-sixteenth and in manured soils 
higher, about one- fourth. 

Like phosphoric acid, when sulphuric acid is present in a soil, 
it always exists in combination with some one or other of the 
metallic oxides, with which it forms sulphates. The majority of 
Indian soils contain remarkably little sulphate, in no case as much 
as one per cent. An exception occurs in the case of usar soils 
which are impregnated with sodium sulphate and sodium carbon* 
ate. 

Carbonic AcM The determination of this is not of much con- 
sequence. It usually exists in proportions not sufficient to combine 
with the lime present, and it may therefore be assumed that the 
carbonic acid is present wholly or mainly in combination with lime. 

Organic matter and Nitrogen. As a rule, Indian soils contain 
little organic matter. The loss by heating is often due chiefly to loss 
of combined water, and a knowledge of the loss by combustion 
of a soil does not serve as a means of even approximately 
determining the amount of that most valuable constituent, 
humus. The loss by combustion occurs chiefly where the propor- 
tions of iron and alumina are great. The coffee soils of Shevaroys 
are rich in nitrogen and so are some soils of Pratapgarh. Speaking 
generally, Indian soils contain less than '1 per cent, of nitrogen. 
The Gangetic alluvium contains only about '05 per cent. In the 
Madras alluvium the proportion is the same or a little higher. The 
regurs and red soils usually contain less than '05 per cent. Laterite 
and other rocky soils contain only about *03 per cent. But' soils 
that have had the opportunity of accumulating nitrogen, whether 
in old fallows or in forests, contain a higher proportion. 

The reputed fertility of Indian soils is more a myth than a 
reality. Where the soil has been in cultivation for many years, the 
virgin richness has disappeared, except where it is irrigated by 
canals (e.g.l the Eden canal), bringing rich deposits of silt, or 
annually flooded by rivers leaving such deposits (e.g., in Eastern 
Bengal). As a rule, Indian soils yield poor crops. 



PHYSICAL PROPERTIES OF SOILS. 53 

CHAPTER VII. 

PHYSICAL PROPERTIES OF SOILS. 



-n,iipci,uui.o, ojjcumv; uettL', xxuuiiuiuu, -EL usurp tiuu u/uu cvei/eiiuiuji UJL jneuif 

Evenness of temperature, Inclination, Electric influences, Elevation, Lati 




Weight. The specific gravity of soil as it naturally occurs, 
i.e., the weight of natural soil as compared to that of distilled water 
varies from 1 to 2. Some peat-soils have less specific gravity than 
1. The floating vegetable gardens of Kashmir consist of light peat- 
soil of this kind. The absolute weight of soils varies from 50 to 
120ftls. per cubic foot, a cubic foot of distilled water weighing 
62'5fbs. A cubic foot of rich garden-mould weighs about TOtbs, ; 
of ordinary arable land 80 to 90fts. ; of dry sand llOfbs. The 
weight of an acre of soil to the depth of one foot varies from one to 
five million pounds ; of dry sand, about 4,800,000ffis. ; of loam 
consisting of half clay and half sand, 4,200,000fts. ; of ordinary 
arable soil 3,800,000 to 3,900,000fts. ; of stiff clay, 3,250,000ffis. ; 
of garden-mould, 3,000,000fts. An acre of peat to the depth of 
one foot weighs from one to two million pounds. A soil when 
perfectly dry was found to weigh 3,137,000ttjs. The same soil 
when wet was found to weigh 4,000,OOlJbs. It should be 
remembered that one inch of rainfall increases the weight of 
an acre of soil to a depth of one foot by about one hundred 
tons (224,000ffis.). In agricultural language, a soil is said to 
be heavy which offers considerable resistance to the plough. 
Sandy soils which actually weigh heavier than other soils are called 
light soils because they offer least resistance to the plough. A 
stiff clay soil which is said to be very heavy becomes lighter, i.e., 
less resistant to the plough, after there is a shower of rain, though 
the rain actually adds to the weight of the soil. The specific grav- 
ity of soils, not as they actually occur but of the materials of which 
they are composed varies from 2*5 to 2'8. The specific gravity of 
soils very rich in organic matter is sometimes less than 2. The 
specific gravity of quartz is 2*65. 

Porosity. The fineness of division of the particles of soil has 
great influence on vegetation. Food of plants must pass into solu- 
tion before it can be assimilated. The rapidity with which this 
dissolving action can take place is in direct ratio to the surface. 
The finer the particles, the greater the surface and more the space 
the growing roots have for their development and- spread. But 
when the particles are too fine, the soil becomes too compact for 
roots to penetrate, and it cracks in drying, which also interferes 
with the spread of roots. Up to a certain limit, therefore, fineness 
of division of the particles of soil is desirable. The condition known 
as loamy is the best in respect of porosity. 



64 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

Retention of water. This capacity of soils depends mainly on 
the fineness of division of their particles. Humus or vegetable 
organic matter in the soil has the greatest capacity for retaining 
moisture, and clay has a greater capacity in this respect than sand. 
Angular fragments have greater capacity than round fragments 
for retaining moisture. 100 parts of sand take up about 25 parts 
of water by weight and 49 parts by volume ; clay 40 parts by 
weight and 68 by volume ; fine calcareous soil, 85 by weight and 
80 by volume ; humus, 190 by weight and 93 by volume. 
Ordinary agricultural soil takes up about 50 per cent, by weight 
of water. It will thus be seen that an inch of irrigation or rainfall 
at a time soaks it to a depth of about two inches, and provision in 
the matter of irrigation should be ordinarily made on this basis. 
Heat decreases this capacity for holding water. The porosity of 
soil though depending mainly on the fineness of its particles, also 
depends on looseness or fineness of filth. Loose agricultural soils 
can hold 59 per cent, of water, while the same soil shaken down 
will hold only 45 per cent, and pressed down, only 40 per cent. 

Capillarity. The capillary power of soils for drawing water 
up from below depends on their porosity. Clay possesses the great- 
est capillarity and sand and chalk the least. A column of fine clay 
wetted from the bottom will become wet to a height of one to two 
yards. Quartz-sand similarly wetted becomes wet to a height of 
only half a yard, and chalky and calcareous soil (i.e., soil, made up of 
particles of pure calcium carbonate) to a still less height. The 
capillary action of soils in lump is less than that of the same soils 
when finely powdered or broken down. This is one of the many 
reasons why cultivation benefits crops. Capillary action takes 
three or four days before it reaches its final limit. Capillarity 
is disturbed by digging up the surface-soil, or spreading on irrigated 
soils, dry earth. The retention of moisture \mder trees, or in sugar- 
cane trenches, is thus helped by digging round the trees in Novem- 
ber, and in earthing up sugar-cane trenches with dry earth after 
irrigation. Loss of water raised by capillarity, by evaporation, is 
thus avoided. 

Hygroscopic power All porous bodies have the power of absorb- 
ing moisture from the atmosphere. The proportion of moisture 
absorbed depends (1) upon the surface exposed, and (2) on the, 
nature of he substance. Organic substances, as a rule, are 
more hygroscopic than mineral substances. Wool, silk and 
hair are highly hygroscopic. Wool absorbs nineteen to twenty per 
cent, of moisture from air at the freezing temperature. In buying 
and selling, this must be borne in mind. Silk may contain nine or 
ten per cent, of latent moisture over and above the eleven per cent, 
of normal moisture, without one noticing it. In buying 100 maunds 
of silk it is quite possible to throw away Its. 7,000 or Bs. 8,000 in 
buying superfluous water. Dry seasons should be chosen for 
buying these substances. Manuring soils with refuse from wool 



PHYSICAL PROPERTIES OF SOILS. 55 

or silk factories or with hair, increases their absorbent power for 
moisture. Absorbent power varies very considerably in soils. 
Coarse quartz-sand absorbs little or no water from air, calcareous 
sand very little ; ordinary* arable, clay and humus soils, more and 
more. Calcareous sand finely powdered absorbs twelve times as 
much aqueous vapour as in the coarse state. The rapidity of 
absorption depends upon the proportion of moisture present in the 
air; but the total amount of water absorbed mainly depends on 
temperature, more being absorbed at a low than at a high 
temperature. Hence the necessity of desiccating the soil at a 
uniformly high temperature for purposes of analysis. Sowing of 
seed for rdbi crops should be done in the evening after which the 
land should be harrowed and left in an open state for absorption of 
dew. In the morning rolling or laddering should be done so as 
to keep in the moisture absorbed at night. 

Evaporation. Soils becoming superficially dry in the day time 
absorb moisture at night. All soils exposed to air lose their 
moisture more or less rapidily, sandy soils most rapidly, clay 
less rapidly, and humus soils list rapidly. Exposed to a dry atmos- 
phere at 19 C for four hours in an experiment 

Siliceous soil lost . . 88 % of moisture. 

Calcareous sand . . 76 

Pure clay . . . . 52 

Clay soil . . . . 35 

Chalk .. ..28 

Garden soil . . . . 24 

Humus or peaty soil . . 20 

Coagulation In fresh water, clay remains in suspension for a 
very long time, but in salt water it gets coagulated and deposited 
at the bottom. Hence formation of soils in the sea is facilitated. 
The addition of common salt or gypsum or of any soluble salt to 
a mixture of clay and fresh water, would demonstrate the action 
the sea has in the formation of clay-soils. The application of 
certain manures such as castor-cake or gypsum to clay-soils, is 
known to make it more friable. The use of gypsum in making 
plastic usar soils porous has been demonstrated. 

Shrinkage and expansion. Pure clay contracts eighteen per cent. 
in volume when it becomes wet, and strong clay soils may contract 
eight to ten per cent. Light sandy soils with little humus undergo 
little or no change in volume when wet. Humus soils expand up 
to fifteen per cent, when wet, and more in frost. Clay soil also 
expands in frost. This expansion often causes rupture of roots of 
crops growing on these soils. Clay soils, in drying, crack. These 
cracks also damage the roots of*growing crops. 

Colour. The colour of the soil somewhat affects its tempera- 
ture. Dark-coloured bodies being more . quickly heated thaa 



56 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

light-coloured bodies, humus soils and dark basalt soils are warmer 
than limestone soils and sandy soils. If dark-coloured shales are 
sprinkled over vineyards in cold countries, ripening takes place 
quicker. Smooth and white substances sprinkled over dark- 
coloured soil would keep such soil comparatively cool. As we are 
more interested in keeping soils cool rather than warm, we might 
try the effect of scattering white chips of stone or chalk on dark- 
coloured soils. For practical purposes the question of colour is 
not of much importance in a country where coolness is best secured 
by moisture which most soils are in need of, at certain critical 
periods. The question of temperature of the soil, -however, is of 
great importance. 

Temperature The mean temperature of the surface soil differs 
in different climates, but even in the same locality some soils are 
recognised as cold and others as warm. The heat of the soil is 
derived from three sources and it is distinguished accordingly as 
solar heat, terrestrial heat, and chemical heat. The chemical heat 
derived from decaying organic matter, especially in porous soils, 
is very considerable ; but as this heat is evolved very slowly, it has 
little perceptible effect on plant-life. Owing to the internal heat 
of the earth, there is very little change of temperature due to sur- 
face radiation, between day and night below a depth of four feet 
from the surface in warm countries. In cold countries, below a 
depth of seventy-five to eighty feet the temperature is constant, 
i.e., not affected by radiation at night, and solar heat by day. 
The mean annual temperature of the surface soil is slightly over 
that of the air ; but moist clay-soils are colder than the atmosphere 
above them, as the continual evaporation going on from them con- 
tinually lowers the temperature. Water ascending by capillary 
action from the subsoil and taking the place of that evaporated 
from the surface soil, keeps the surface-soil always cold. 

Specific heat The less the specific heat of the soil, the more 
rapidly is it heated. The specific heat of soils compared to that of 
water varies from *2 to *5 for equal volumes and from *16 to -3 for 
equal weights. Sand has a greater specific heat than clay. The 
actual capacity of soil for heat, however, is largely dependent on 
its capacity for water as water has four or five times the specific 
heat of soils. Quartz-sand becomes heated to the highest tem- 
perature a$d white chalk-soil to the lowest temperature under the 
same solar influence. The coolness of lime-soils is therefore of 
great advantage in warm climates, and the advantage of kankar 
beds can be viewed from this point also. Moist clay soils which are 
considered very objectionable from the temperature point of view 
in cold countries should, from the same point of view, be looked 
upon as highly advantageous for ftiis clin^ate. 

Radiation. Radiation also affects temperature. Smooth and 
polished surfaces which reflect heat most perfectly, absorb and 



PHYSICAL PROPEBTIES OF SOILS. 57 

radiate it least readily. The radiation from moist soils at night is 
less quick, but, on the whole, such soils are colder and are called 
'cold soils.' Nocturnal radiation results in quicker formation 
of dew in the interstices of soils where water vapour accumulates 
in larger proportions than in the air. 

Retention of heat. Quick or slow cooling depends partly on 
specific heat but chiefly on fineness or largeness of particles of the 
soil, finely divided particles cooling more readily. Soils covered 
with gravels, cool more slowly than sandy soils. Sandy soils also 
retain heat longer than clay-soils and these longer than humus soils. 
Water being a bad conductor of heat, wet soils differ little from one 
another, in the absorption and retention of heat. A wet plot may 
be as much as 7C higher in temperature early in the morning or 
7C lower in temperature at 3 or 4 P.M. in the daytime than a neigh- 
bouring dry plot. The physical effect of irrigation on soils in equal- 
ising temperature and keeping soils from getting too hot cannot be 
overrated in a climate like that of India. In England coldness of 
soils is avoided by drainage. Drainage for this purpose alone is 
not required in this climate. 

Evenness of temperature and slow nocturnal radiation are very 
helpful to the growth of plants. Uniformity of temperature occurs 
in sea-side places, the climate of which should be considered 
favourable to vegetation for this reason only. It should be noted, 
however, that cold is helpful for developing the germinating power 
of seed in the case of many agricultural crops of the temperate 
climates, and the difference of summer and winter is therefore bene- 
ficial. In sea-side places high winds prove an obstacle to agricul- 
tural operations. From January to May the difference between 
the day and night temperatures is the greatest in the plains of Ben- 
gal, while in July and August it is the least. Vegetative processes 
are hampered therefore from January to May and highly facilitated 
in July and August. The maximum and minimum temperatures 
of Calcutta throughout the year will be found from the following 
table : 

Maximum, Minimum. 

January .. .. 83F. 52F. 

February .. .. 91 54 

March .. .. 99 64 

April .. .. 103 69 

May .. .. 100 69 

June .. .. 98 73 

July .. .. 93 76 

August .. .. 92 75 

September ,. .. 93 75 

October .. .. 91 68 

November .. .. 86 57 

December .. .. 81 52 



68 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

The maximum and minimum temperatures chiefly determine 
the crops that can be successfully grown at a certain locality. A 
temperature of over 90F. is not suitable for growing wheat, and a 
temperature of under 60F. is not suitable for the growth of rice. 
A temperature of 32F., i.e., frost, is unsuitable for the growth of 
vegetation, though it does not kill deep-rooted crops and trees, the 
roots of which are securely lodged in warmer layers of soil. Even- 
ness of temperature of the layers of soil in which the roots of plants 
are lodged is helpful to vegetation only when other conditions are 
equal. 

The following table gives the temperature of the soil of 
Calcutta at the surface and at the depth of three feet : 

Metin temperature Mean temperature 

at the surface. at a depth of 3 feet. 

January .. .. 64*4F. 72'5F. 

February .. .. 71-2 74-1 

March .. .. 82-7 78*4 

April .. .. 91-3 84'5 

May .. .. 90-4 87'1 

June .. .. 87-5 87'2 

July .. .. 86-2 86-4 

August .. .. 85'9 86-1 

September .. .. 86-0 89-1 

October .. .. 83*2 85-2 

November .. .. 73-3 81-0 

December .. .. 64-8 75-1 

Yearly mean temperature . . 80-6 82'0 

Inclination, or the angle at which the sun's rays strike the 
earth, influences the temperature of the soil. Where there is a 
sufficiency of moisture, more direct rays of the sun causing greater 
heat of the soil, only result in richer vegetation of the indigenous 
kinds. A southern slope in the northern hemisphere is therefore 
desirable for moist climates ; but a level soil helping retention of 
rainwater on it is by far the best for all ordinary purposes, in most 
parts of India. In cold climates even radiation from walls is 
taken advantage of in increasing the heat of the neighbouring soil 
and in growing fruits on the walls, to greater perfection. 

The electrical influences of various classes of soils on plant life 
in wet an<J in dry conditions, have not been studied sufficiently 
minutely to enable us to give definite information on the subject. 
But this is the subject which is being largely studied at present, 
chiefly in France and Germany, and important results are anti- 
cipated from this study. Electricity has been applied to plants in 
three ways, (1) through the soil by means of wires buried about 
two inches deep, (2) by a network of wires carried in the air above 
the growing crop, and (3) by powerful arc-lights which act like 
strong sun-light, the light being also softened by amber globes. 
Under the continuous action of the last of these crops have been 



PHYSICAL PROPERTIES OF SOILS, 59 

matured in half the usual time, the light being kept burning the 
entire night. In the application of the first method, as soon as the 
seed is sown, the electric current is turned on by the underground 
wires. Germination takes place quicker and more freely and fully, 
and if the electric stimulation is kept up, growth goes on more 
vigorously. An increased yield of fifty per cent, over ordinary 
methods has been obtained by the application of electricity in this 
way. It has been shown by experiments conducted in Europe 
and in America that electricity can be applied to ordinary agri- 
cultural purposes on a large scale. The most recent method is 
the second, and it consists of a network of wires carrying 
electric current some six feet above the ground where the crop 
is being grown. 

Elevation, which mainly determines temperature and the 
amount of ammonia and nitric acid which the soil receives from 
rainfall, Latitude which also determines temperature and Longitude 
which partly determines directions of wind, are all potent meteoro- 
logical agencies influencing growth of crops. As we ascend higher 
and higher up a hill, the temperature gets lower, and we notice the 
flora also changing and the character of cultivated crops, and the 
season of agricultural operations. At low elevations also a com- 
paratively higher proportion of ammonia is obtained by means of 
rainfall but somewhat less of nitric acid, the formation of which 
in the higher regions of the atmosphere is due to electrical action in 
the clouds. Great elevation, i.e., an elevation of over one thousand 
feet, is an evidence that the soil is likely to be of coarse texture, 
and also wet, and where high elevations are well wooded and pro- 
tected from denudation, they indicate richness of soil in organic 
matter also. Calcutta is about 21 feet above the sea-level, Dacca, 
35 feet ; Sylhet, 53 feet ; Cuttack, 80 feet ; Chittagong, 86 feet ; 
Burdwan, 99 feet ; Durbhanga, 166 feet ; Patna, 182 feet ; and 
Darjiling, 7,000 feet. From these figures one can infer that the 
soil near Calcutta is finer and better mixed than that of stations 
with higher elevations, while the soil of Darjeeling is the coarsest 
and rockiest, the fertility of each portion depending on the 
character of the underlying rock. 



(JO HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 



CHAPTER VIII. 

SUNLIGHT, RAIN AND HAIL. 

[Effect of different coloured rays on vegetation ; Blue rays the best ; Solar 
radiation how measured ; Difference of endurance of plants for sunlight ; 
Kainfall how governed ; Regions beyond high hills, rainless ; South- West 
and North- East monsoons ; Receding monsoon; Regions of heavy rainfall ; 
Effect of rain on soil ; Loss of water by drainage and evaporation ; Sink- 
ing of rainwater in the soil ; Rainfall getting more precarious on account 
of destruction of trees ; Untimely rainfall should be utilised ; Catch crops 
and fertilising crops ; Brahmins' method of calculation of rainfall and 
meteorologists' methods both faulty ; Table of rainfall, temperature, 
altitude, latitude and longitude of typical places in Bengal ; What rainfall 
should be aimed at in securing site for a farm ; Reading of weather 
charts ; How hailstorms prevented in Austria and Italy.] 

Sunlight* Solar rays of different colours are known to pro- 
duce different effects on vegetation. An experiment was conduct- 
ed in glass compartments in which glass of the following colours was 
used ; ruby, brown-red, orange, yellow, cobalt-blue and deep- 
green. The young plants first broke the soil in the box covered 
with the orange glass, and last under those covered by yellow, 
green and blue glasses. It was subsequently found that the effect of 
the yellow rays was such as to prevent the germination of the seed, 
even although the rays only rested on the surface of the soil while 
the seed lay buried beneath ; while, again, the blue light seemed 
to remarkably favour the process. Under the orange light the 
plants grew very tall, but then they had white stalks, and they 
refused to put forth any flowers. Under the yellow light it was 
remarkable that a number of little fungi or moulds sprang up and 
flourished luxuriantly while the plant themselves withered and 
died. Under the red light the plants only grew an inch or two 
high, had something of a reddish colour, and soon rotted and per- 
ished, although supplied with abundance of food in the soil in which 
they were placed. Under the green light the plants grew slowly 
but tolerably strong, yet none would flower, notwithstanding the 
greatest care and attention paid to them. The results under the 
blue glass were very different. The seed germinated a little less 
quickly than in the open air, but the plants became compact and 
healthy in their character, putting forth their flower buds strongly 
and flowering in perfection. Under this light alone did the various 
processes go on with the vigour which is characteristic of vegetation 
in the open air. It is inferred that such would also probably be 
the case with plants grown under violet glass. 

Solar radiation is recorded in meteorological stations with the 
help of a radiation thermometer. This consists of a delicate ther- 
mometer having a dull blackened bulb and paclosed in a glass tube 
from which the air has been removed. This instrument is freely 
exposed to the heat of the sun and its maximum reading registered. 
The greatest amount of solar radiation which occurs during the 



SUNLIGHT, HAIN AND HAIL. 61 

day is indicated by the excess of this temperature over the maxi- 
mum temperature of the air in the shade. In tlie presence of mois- 
ture, solar heat is most potent in accelerating vegetative processes, 
but plants differ in the power of endurance of solar heat. Cotton, 
pineapple, and Sida rhombifolia, for example, though tropical plants 
cannot bear the full blaze of the tropical sun, and they do better 
under the shade of trees. 

Rainfall It cannot be said that the 1 causes that govern rain- 
fall in India are very well understood. Rainfall is regulated 
partly by the prevailing winds and partly by the contour of the 
country, chiefly with reference to the position of the seafe and the 
mountains. In the neighbourhood of high mountains on the face 
turned towards the sea, the rainfall is heavy, as condensation of 
vapour takes place most readily on these mountains. A tableland 
surrounded by mountains, e.g., the Tibetan tableland, receives very 
little rain, since the winds which reaqh it have already parted with 
their moisture in ascending the hill-sides. Differences of tempera- 
ture in different regions of the globe, stimulate currents of air, and 
when into a very hot and dry region currents of air flow from the 
sea and from cold and moist hill-tracts, cyclonic disturbances 
accompanied by rain follow. In the greater part of Northern India 
the continuous heat of April, May and June tends to rarify the air 
and make the atmospheric pressure light in that region and continu- 
ous currents of air laden with moisture thereafter flow into these 
zones in definite directions. Thus in Bombay the monsoon cur- 
rent is from the south-west, i.e., the Arabian Sea, while we have 
it from the south in Calcutta. These winds when they reach their 
full force in June, and when they are accompanied by cyclonic 
storms, are termed the south-west monsoon. Under normal con- 
ditions they begin in Ceylon between the 14th and 20th of May, at 
the Andamans and Rangoon a few days later ? and at the head of 
Bay of Bengal during the first or second week of June. To 
obtain telegraphic information regarding the monsoon current 
from various stations in Southern India, from Ceylon and from 
the Andamans, is therefore of very great importance from an agri- 
cultural point of view, specially at the time of transplanting 
paddy. 

The amount and distribution of rainfall which a particular local- 
ity receives, usually determine its productiveness, especially in the 
tropics. In the Malabar Coast of India and in parts of Assam the 
largest quantity of rainfall occurs, and these are among the most 
productive tracts in India. The regions of heavy rainfall, i.e., 
of 70 to 100 inches or more, are Assam, parts of Eastern Bengal, 
the Cis-Himalayan region of Northern Bengal *nd the Eastern 
and Western Ghauts. 

The effect of rainfall slowly but surely in changing the physical 
character of the surface soil, where 4 siich soil lies bare or is ovet- 
grown oaly by short grass, must not be ignored. The finer particles 



62 HANDBOOK OF AGBICULTURE. 

of clay getting washed out, the soil has a tendency to get lighter, 
which is an advantage only for soils which are too stiff. High 
winds, however, bring back some amount of fine dust and tend to 
keep up a balance. High winds which prevail on the seaside dis- 
tricts are therefore not to be regarded as absolutely inimical to 
agricultural pursuits. In course of time they help to make sandy 
tracts loamy and fit for cultivation. On the whole, however, 
boisterous winds are not helpful to the proper growth of crops un- 
less they are very short crops. An occasional gale may lay low 
and spoil a crop nearly ready for the sickle and where high winds 
are the rule, very few crops can be grown and the landscape is gener- 
ally found quite bare of trees in such localities, and how helpful 
trees are to agriculture in various ways, we shall see later on. 

What proportion of rain evaporates, what proportion sinks 
into the soil and feeds wells and springs, and what proportion finds 
its way by means of drains, streams and rivers, into the sea, depend 
upon tlje climate of the place, the season of the year, the porosity 
of the soil, the nature of the strata below, and the contour of the 
whole district or locality. 

Untimely rainfall. It is generally considered that the rain- 
fall in India is becoming more precarious than used to be the case. 
How far this is really the case it is difficult to say, for the precarious- 
ness in recent years may be simply due to the fact that the character 
of the climate runs in cycles. But there are some elements in the 
present condition of things which are worthy of consideration from 
our present point of view. One form in which the uneven distri- 
bution of rainfall takes in India is the occurrence of heavy rains 
out of season. In 1906, for instance, after a fair amount of rain- 
fall in January, in most parts of Bengal and Upper India, extra- 
ordinarily heavy rains occurred in February, in some places as 
much as ten inches. In March also, fairly heavy rains occurred 
and this was followed by the great drought of April. In Bengal, 
as a rule, no use is made of this untimely rainfall, which is a 
very great pity. Such heavy rainfall, at any time of the year, 
would be at once made use of in Southern and Western India, in 
those parts where little rain is obtained. January rains should be 
always utilised in getting lands under the plough after the rice 
harvest. Once brought under the plough, the land can be 
afterwards kept stirred from time to time until the next rice sowing 
or transplanting season. This results in the soil retaining moisture 
much more effectively, absorbing fertility from the air and in being 
free from insect and fungus pests. If rain occur again in February 
after land has been prepared, sowing of catch-crops, or crops which 
take only about three months getting ready, should proceed 
vigorously. Such crops as have a beneficial effect on the future rice 
crop should be chosen in preference ; so that if the crops come 
ultimately to nothing, the land at least may beu fertilized. Melons 
and other cucurbitaceous crops> maize, juar, til, bajri, marua, buck- 
wheat, cotton, cow-pea, ground-nut, dhaincha, sunn-hemp, gowar 



SUNLIGHT, RAIN AND HAIL. 



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64 HANDBOOK OP AGRICULTURE. 

aim or arharia sim (Cyamopsis psoralioides) can be grown as catch- 
crops with untimely but heavy rain. The last five crops should be 
preferred as they have an excellent action in fertilizing the soil. 
When untimely but heavy rains occur in any month, usually there 
is heavy rain again the month after, at least that is our experience in 
Lower Bengal ; so that there should be no hesitation on the part of 
cultivators to utilise heavy rains whenever they may happen. It 
is also our experience in Bengal, that heavy rains early in the season 
are compensated by short rainfall late in the season, and short 
rainfall early in the season is compensated by heavy rainfall late 
in the season. Cultivators make a great mistake to consult 
almanacs and Brahmin soothsayers in cultivating land and sowing 
seed. They ought to follow their own experience and common 
sense in the matter, and rely on the beneficent dispensations of a 
wise Creator and Governor of the universe. In 1904, in the dis- 
trict of Sambalpur, the Hindu cultivators found they had made a 
serious mistake in neglecting the early rains of April and May and 
following their Brahmin's advice in the matter of cultivation, while 
their Mahommedan fellow-cultivators following their own judg- 
ment and cultivating their land and sowing the seed early in the 
season secured a bumper crop. It may be readily inferred that 
almanacs cannot be true, as they speak of rainfall, not of a parti- 
cular village, but of the whole country, and we know from expe- 
rience that rainfall differs from province to province, and district 
to district, and even from village to village. In 1904 the crops 
failed entirely in certain villages in the Chanda District, while in 
the neighbouring villages the crops were very good. A good shower 
of rain may save the situation in a village, while the absence of such 
rain may ruin the crop in the next village. Even for a particular 
village the Brahmin soothsayers' predictions often turn out wrong. 
He studies the state of the sky in the month of Pous, from day to 
day, and infers the character of the season for the whole of the next 
year. He divides the month into twelve equal parts, and notices 
if there are clouds or rain on any day or portion of a day. From 
this he concludes which months or which portion of a month in 
the year that is coming are to be rainy. We have studied their 
inferences and found them utterly in the wrong. Eain could not 
be predicted in such a simple way. Meteorologists are studying 
sun-spots, occurrence of snow in the hills, directions of winds in 
different parts of the world, and various other circumstances that 
are known or supposed to determine rainfall, but their forecasts 
also are generally out. We have no reliable means as yet for pre- 
paring forecasts of rainfall in India. 

The table in the preceding page gives the latitude, longitude, 
elevation, mean temperature (M. T.) and rainfall (R.) of the 
principal towns of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa. 

The rainfall of some parts of Assam is higher even than that 
of Darjiling. The average annual rainfall of Cherrapunji is as much 
as 475 inches. In some years it runs up to 600 inches. In Sylhet 



SUNLIGHT, KAIN AND HAIL. 65 

the averages for the several months can be seen from the follow- 
ing figures -.January 0'39" ; February 1*59" ; March 5'74" ; 
April 13-73"; May 21-64"; June 32'02"; July 25*48"; August 
25-69"; September 20-05" ; October 8*31"; November 1-18"; 
December 0-30" ; Annual average 156-12". In Chittagong the 
annual average rainfall is 104 inches. It should be noted that 
even rice of the ordinary varieties grows better in the plains with 
a monthly rainfall of five or six inches at the germinating and 
ripening periods and ten or eleven inches at the growing period. 
The rainfall of twenty or twenty-five inches per month is suitable 
only for hill tracts where the excess water can be easily^ drained 
away. Excess is often as injurious as deficiency for most varieties 
of rice. Some varieties of rice, however, can stand a rainfall of 
twenty to thirty inches per month. A monthly rainfall of two 
to six inches is the most favourable for ordinary vegetation, the 
lower figure being more suited tor the early and late periods of 
the growth of Kharif crops, and also for the cold weather crops, 
as evaporation does not go on so rapidly in the cold weather as it 
does in the hot. 

In selecting a site for a farm the average monthly rainfall 
registered in the nearest meteorological station should be consulted. 
If the -average rainfall in any locality in April, May and June, and 
September, October and November is less than one to two inches, 
or very precarious, and that in July and August over twelve inches, 
and in some years as much as twenty or thirty inches or more, 
such a locality should be avoided as naturally unfavourable for 
general farming, unless it is a cool hill tract. Of course, the pre- 
sence of canals, or other special facilities for irrigation, alters the 
question entirely. 

The Weather-chart The agriculturist should be familiar with 
the reading of the weather-chart. The curved dotted lines 
that one sees on weather-charts, called isobars, are imaginary lines, 
each connecting all those places which have at a given time the 
same barometric pressure. From a number of these isobars on a 
chart one can see at a glance the nature of the distribution of 
atmospheric pressure over a country at any given time. The meteo- 
rological department issues these charts every morning. The 
difference of pressure between one isobar and the next is called the 
gradient. A gradient of c 4 ' means, that over a distance of 1 degree 
or 60 miles, the barometer has risen by 1 fo r or ^th of an inch. 
When the isobars are drawn close to one another they indicate high 
or steep gradient ; when they are wider apart they indicate a low 
gradient. High gradient is followed by high winds and low gra- 
dient by light winds. Air does not blow directly from regions of 
high pressure to those of low pressure ; the atmospheric movement 
caused by the rotations of the earth results in an alteration of the 
direction of the current. In the northern hemisphere if you stand 
with your back to the wind, the barometric pressure on the regions 
to your left hand is lower than on those to your right hand. In 

M, HA 5 



66 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

the southern hemisphere if you stand with your back to the wind, 
the regions of lower pressure will be on your right hand. The same 
principle is expressed in other words thus : if you stand with the 
high barometer to your right and the low barometer to your left, 
the wind will blow on your back. In the southern hemisphere 
the reverse will be the case. Thus the isobars indicate direction 
of the wind, and the distances between the lines its strength. 

Actual barometric readings have to be reduced to a common 
standard by the Meteorological Office, as the elevation ot the place 
of observation and the temperature at the time of observation, make 
a difference in the height of the column of mercury, apart from the 
difference of pressure causing movements of wind. All the* read- 
ings are therefore corrected or reduced to sea-level and 32F. for 
comparison. A reduction has also to be made on account of differ- 
ence of gravity due to difference of length in the diameter of the 
earth at different latitudes. All reduction is made for the latitude 
of 45. 

Hall The cause of hailstorms is not definitely known. They 
occur in Lower Bengal at the change of season from winter to sum- 
mer, when southern breeze brings winds laden with moisture from 
the sea, and occasionally a northern wind brings the clouds back 
towards the south from the Himalayas. These clouds are formed 
high up in the air (i.e., Cirrus clouds) and not low down as in the 
case of the clouds of the rainy season, and the colder regions of the 
atmosphere sometimes congeal the rain drops before they come down 
in the form of hail. Hailstones are larger or smaller in size as they 
come down from a greater or smaller height. The destruction 
caused by hailstones, though local, is often very considerable. In 
Italy the damage to vineyards annually caused by hail is estimated 
at over 4,000,000. In 1880 an Italian savant, Professor Bom- 
bicci of Bologna, observed that showers of rain were most frequent 
in those places where gun practice shook the air and filled it with 
smoke. Then followed the well-known American experiments 
(which have, however, led to no practical results) for artificially 
producing rain in a cloudless sky. In one direction Professor Bom- 
bicci's researches have led to a very practical result. In 1896 in 
Styria (Austria) a progressive vine-grower, Burgomister Stieger, 
started shooting with cannons against approaching storm clouds. 
He established shooting stations on the. hills surrounding his vine- 
yards at an altitude of from nine hundred to two thousand four 
hundred feet. At every station he had from five to six mortars in 
a wooden hut, so that shooting could be proceeded with even during 
rain. His mortars are eighteen inches long and they weigh about 
1601bs. each with a three centimetre chamber. He loads them with 
about 5ozs. of nliner's powder. The clouds either disperse or come 
down in the form of rain and he has altogether avoided hail by this 
means. His example has been largely followed in Austria and 
Italy. There are now about six hundred hail-preventing stations 
in Italy, 



FERTILITY AND BARRENNESS, 67 

CHAPTER IX. 
FERTILITY AND BARRENNESS, 

[No soils a bsolutely barren : How usar lands, sand -banks and saline soils can 
be rendered fertile ; Presence of all essential ash -const it utenta in sufficient 
and available form ; Plot experiments to ascertain fertility ; Rough and 
ready tests of fertility ; Earth-worms and grubs of insects, plants of 
various natural orders, specially of leguminous order ; Bones and shells ; 
Absorbent co-efficient; Solubility with dilute acids; Dr. Dyer's research; 
Minimum of a necessary ingredient ; Barren lands, caused by ferrous salts, 
acids, ammonium cyanate, ammonium sulpho-cyanate, more than 2 per cent, 
of soluble salts, impermeability to water, and flow of water containing 
aluminium and magnesium salts, copper, lead and other heavy metals in 



excess. 



FERTILITY and sterility are relative terms. One soil is more 
fertile than another and one more sterile than another. In nature 
there is no soil so absolutely barren that no method of draining, 
irrigation, manuring, or other treatment, has resulted or can result 
in vegetation. Even usar or salt lands in the United Provinces 
have *been made to grow trees, grasses and superior crops, by a 
method of enclosing the land, of drainage and irrigation, and of 
manuring it with cowdung. Growing of babul trees on usar land 
is another means of reclaiming such land. Drainage and irrigation 
help the soil to get rid of its excess of soluble-salts. Hard rock with 
no soil on it will", of course, grow no superior plants on it. But even 
soils which look like pure sand contain enough of plant-food to yield 
crops of indigo, mustard, sorguja and barley, if there is sufficient 
moisture in them. Nature's method of gradually converting sand- 
banks into fertile soils may be expedited by art. The lack of 
organic matter and of cohesion of particles may sometimes be 
made up in a single year by growing a crop of atww-hemp or of 
dhaincka. A barren' tract of saline soil may be rendered sweet and 
fertile by embankments and drainage, as is done in the Sunderbuns. 

Fertility. We have already seen that a fertile soil should contain 

all the essential ash-constituents of plants in a sufficient quantity 
and in an available form. A ten-plot or five-plot experiment is a 
practical guide for ascertaining their presence. A still readier 
method of judging the fertility of soils is the ascertaining of the 
following facts : 1st, Do earth-worms and grubs of insects abound to 
a sufficient depth in the soil ? 2ne%, Do plants of various natural 
orders, including the leguminosso, grow abundantly and luxu- 
riantly on the soil ? 3n%, Are the bones of animals, habitually 
living on the soil, large-sized? Ifhly, Do shells of snails, etc., 
abound in the soil ? A soil which is helpful to the growth of wild 
vegetation and which is able to support wild animal-life in abund- 
ance and build the solid parts of their body which are rich in phos- 
phoric acid and lime, must be rich soil. Other things being 
equal the greater the absorbent co-efficient of a soil, the greater 
is its fertility ; and the larger the proportion of the decomposable 



68 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

silicates present in it the more fertile it is. We will speak of 
absorption and decomposition of silicates more at length hereafter 
in the chapter on exhaustion, recuperation and absorption. By 
absorbent co-efficient is meant the number of cubic centimetres 
of nitrogen absorbed in the form of ammonia from a solution of 
ammonium chloride by one hundred grammes of soil. 

Speaking generally, the greater the proportion of a soil which 
is dissolved by dilute acids, the more fertile it is. The amount of 
soil-substances soluble in water usually varies from *1 to '5 per 
cent. But solubility in pure water is not a guide to the solubility 
of plant-food actually undergoing in the soil. Some chemists 
have assumed that dilute acetic acid dissolved all the os sub- 
stances available to plants ; but the acid secretions from 
rootlets are of a complex nature, and no absolute guide as to the 
dilution to be used is possible. Professor Stutzer of Bonn, was 
the first to use 1 per cent, solution of citric acid for ascertaining the 
amount of available phosphoric acid m manures, and Dr. Dyer of 
London, has carried out this method in dealing with soils, and arrived 
at very important practical results, in determining the proportions 
of available phosphoric acid and potash in soils. But the method 
gives no clue to the amount of available nitrogen in soils ; and 
after all the question of fertility is mainly concerned with the 
amount of available nitrogen present in the soil. Besides, acid 
secretions from all rootlets are not all equivalent to a 1 per ' cent, 
solution of citric acid, Some secretions are more acid than others 
and some plants therefore are better able to utilize the latent fer- 
tility of soils than others. The average acidity of root-secretions 
in terms of citric acid, shown by hundreds of plants examined by 
Dr. Dyer, is about 0*86 per cent. Coming to individual plants he 
found the variation was very great. Strawberry showed about 
2 per cent, and a Geum (another plant of the order Rosacese) as much 
as 5'53 per cent. ; while the examination of Solanaceae and Lilia- 
cese gave very low results about O36 per cent. Crucifera} and Legu- 
minosa3 averaged about 1%, while Grammes Umbellifene, Compo- 
site and Chenopodiaceae showed only about J%. These results, 
however, are very important in showing how some orders of plants^ 
such as Rosaceae, Cruciferse, and Leguminosee thrive on poor soils! 
while others, such as Solanese, Liliaceae, Graminese, Umbellifene' 
Composite and Chenopodiacea3, need liberal manuring. Some 
plants of the same natural orders differed widely from others in 
this property of acidity of root-secretions and the figures should 
be judged with this reservation. 

Fertility is governed by the minimum of a necessary ingre- 
dient. A soil may be rich in all essential ash-constituents of plants 
but deficient or wanting only in one, and this deficiency or want 
may result m its barrenness. Soils derived from several rocks 
(.</., alluvial soils) are better than soils from one rock, as there is 
less likelihood of such soils being deficient in anv necessary con- 
stituent. 



FERTILITY AND BARRENNESS. 69 

Barrenness The following types of land are often barren. 
Soils containing an excess of ferrous salts, as, for instance, those 
formed by the oxidation of iron pyrites are barren. Land 
newly reclaimed from the sea contains ferrous salts and is there- 
fore temporarily barren. Tank-earth freshly put on soils also 
makes them temporarily barren, probably also from the presence of 
ferrous salts. Drainage, liming and cultivation and exposure to 
the action of sun and air (which convert ferrous salts into ferric 
salts and sulphites into sulphates) are the means of reclaiming 
lands containing these poisons. 

More than two per cent, of soluble salts in a soil makes it barren ; 
but a very much less proportion of common salt would make a soil 
barren. Lands reclaimed from the Sunderbuns have to be drained 
of their excess salt before they become fit for cultivation. The 
amr or barren lands of the United Provinces usually contain an 
excess of sodium carbonate or sodium sulphate which is locally 
called Reh. Attempts are being made to reclaim by drainage, en- 
closure and light manuring. In 1895-1896 Dr. Voelcker determined, 
by a series of carefully conducted experiments, the proportions 
of different sodium salts which might be present in a soil without 
preventing plant-growth. To good garden-soil, which was seen to 
contain no appreciable amount of any of the sodium salts, were 
added definite amounts of the three salts, sodium carbonate, 
sodium sulphate and sodium chloride. The amounts of salt varied 
from '1 to 1%. Cereals and pulses were sown in separate pots. 
It was found that each of these salts retarded the germination. 
The cereals were affected by "7% of carbonate or sulphate and by 
*4% of chloride. The germination of the pulses was retarded by 
smaller amounts, i.e., by '2 to "4% of carbonate or chloride and '7% 
of sulphate. In the after-growth '2% of the carbonate did harm 
whilst *4% was quite fatal. Up to "2% of sodium chloride was 
found harmless in a few cases, whilst ]% proved harmful in others. 
Sodium sulphate was less harmful, perfect growth both in the kkarif 
and rabi seasons being maintained in the presence of *5% of the 
salt. As in germination so in the after-growth, the leguminos< were 
affected more ,than the cereals by the excess of soda salts. 
From this experiment it may be inferred how the lands reclaimed 
in the Sunderbuns, though they become fit for growing rice very 
readily, are found unsuitable for pulse-crops for a long time. In 
the presence of lime, however, some leguminous crops such as lucerne 
and dhaincha can stand more common salt than they otherwise do, 
and in seaside places where there is no doubt of the presence of lime- 
stone lucerne and dhaincha can be readily grown. 

Another cause of the barrenness of usar lands is their imperme- 
ability to water. Gypsum has been used with success in correct- 
ing this. 



PART II. 
IMPLEMENTS. 



CHAPTER X. 

THEORIES UNDERLYING CULTIVATION. 

I Objects of cultivation Protracted c.ultiwitiou for dry season, but for rabi 
crops thin may bo overdone Advantages and disadvantages of deep cul- 
tivation Spacing for fibre and other crops -Drilling and hoeing Jethro 
Tull and Lois-Woodon systems Climatic- influence on the nature of tillage 
Nitrification' -Drainage and irrigation Bakharing Trenching- Ridg- 
ing, Drilling Country-plough adapted for ridging Subsoiling Subsoil- 
ploughing, Rolling, Mulching Harrowing Burning sod and stubbles 
Stifle-burning Warping, ] 

THE objects of cultivation arc : (1) to allow roots to pene- 
trate easily into the soil ; (2) to allow air and water to find easy 
access into roots and the soil ; (3) to allow absorption of moisture 
and of gases by soil to take place easily : (4) to allow the microbes 
which help in the formation of nitrates to thrive more freely with 
free access of oxygen and nitrogen ; ( r >) to facilitate weathering of 
particles of soil chiefly by the action of oxygen, carbonic acid and 
water ; (6) to break up nests of parasites. In one sentence, cultiva- 
tion helps to bring about a suitable mechanical, chemical and 
biological condition in the soil. 

The advantages of protracted cultivation arc : (a) better aeri- 
fication, and specially nitrification ; (6) better tilth ; (c) exposure 
of insect and fungus pests to the action of birds, ants, sunlight, for 
a longer period ; (d) the preservation of moisture in the lower layers 
of the soil. Cold weather preparation for kharif crops is actually 
practised by the best cultivators, who know it improves the soil and 
gives them a better return. In the rabi season in Bengal pro- 
tracted deep cultivation is not always desirable as there is loss of 
moisture in the layer in which the seed is to be placed, the retention 
of which is needed for proper germination and growth ; still it 
should extend for at least a fortnight during which four or five suc- 
cessive ploughings and ladderings should be done. Rabi cultiva- 
tion should commence after the rains are properly over. Kharif 
cultivation should commence as soon after thfe rice harvest as pos- 
sible. Valuable opportunities are usually lost when no advantage 



THEORIES UNDERLYING CULTIVATION. 71 

is taken of rain from January to May in putting land under prepara- 
tion for the rice or other rains crop. 

The advantages of deep cultivation are : (I) Roots can pene- 
trate deeper and find food from the subsoil. Young plants have a 
great tendency towards root development. Hellriegel found that 
barley plants ten days' old and only in their third leaf had forty- 
two parts of dry matter in their roots for every fifty-eight of dry 
matter in the leaves and stem, while the proportion was twenty- 
nine to seventy-one when a month old, and eight to ninety-two 
when ripe. He also found that barley plants with only one leaf 
had roots nine or ten inches long, and when they had their 
second leaf, the roots were twenty inches long, and barley plants 
a month old had roots three feet long. A loose soil is of great 
help in developing the roots of agricultural crops. (2) Roots 
penetrating deep, a crop can resist drought better as the soil 
is, as a rule, more and more moist the deeper one goes. (3) By 
deep ploughing the distances between plants can be shortened as 
roots can then, instead of spreading out, sink deep in search of 
food. The disadvantage of deep cultivation lies in the fact of a 
great deal more of plant-food being made soluble and available than 
can be utilized by the crop, and the liability of this plant-food so 
let iree, being washed out. This is a defect* which has in the past 
been too much insisted upon. 

Spacing. One object of tillage operations is to allow just suffi- 
cient space to each class of crops. A rice plant should have at its 
disposal one-third cubic foot of earth. In Bengal we have found 
the common practice of transplanting several seedlings of paddy 
about nine inches apart very vicious, and better results have been 
obtained from single seedlings planted one foot apart. A bean 
plant should have at its disposal one cubic foot of earth, a potato 
plant three cubic feet, and a tobacco plant as much as seven cubic 
feet. In an experiment conducted by Hellriegel with barley plants 
grown on jars, it was found out that a plant grown on a large 
jar containing 281bs. of earth weighed when ripe and perfectly 
dry 33,000 milligrammes and bore 636 seeds ; while twenty-four 
plants grown in a jar containing lllbs. of earth, weighed when 
dry 21,600 milligrammes and bore only 384 seeds (of a smaller 
size). The minimum space consistent with good yield should be 
allowed to each plant. For instance, though one potato plant 
will give the highest yield if it is given three cubic feet of space, 
it is more economical to have two plants in this space though these 
two will yield only a little more than the one plant. Potatoes 
planted in double rows four inches apart have been found at the 
Sibpur Farm to yield more than those planted in single rows, the 
distances in each case being eighteen inches by nine inches, though 
the proportion of increase in the latter case is larger. 

Drilllni and Hoeing. The space allowed between plants not only 
helps in root development and better growth, but also in weeding. 



HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

Sowing in drills or regular lines and having a perfectly kvel field, 
one is able to do the weeding by bullock-hoes when plants are 
of that height (three inches to a foot) when bullock-hoes can be 
used without much Joss by treading or breaking of stems. Where 
development of a large number of branches is considered undesir- 
able, as in the case of fibre crops, deep cultivation and thick sowing 
are advisable. The objects of ploughing and reploughing a field, 
of levelling it, of sowing seed in drills, and of weeding it with bullock- 
hoes, are evident from what has been said here and in the chapter 
on physical properties of soils. There is a further object in con- 
stantly using the hoe, besides weeding. Stirring the soil helps in 
removing the surface-pan which is formed after rain or irrigation, 
and which prevents free access of air and the consequent weathering 
of soil particles. A sugarcane or potato crop should be hoed with- 
in a week after each irrigation to avoid caking of the soil, unless 
trench-irrigation is practised, as is desirable. So great is the bene- 
fit derived from constant stirriri| of soil during the growth of crops 
that Jethro Tull, a famous English farmer (16801740), jumped 
to the conclusion that tillage alone would serve, and no manure was 
needed. Tull's principle was carried out to better issue by the 
Revd. Mr. Smith of Lois-Weedon, Northamptonshire. Operating 
upon a clay-soil, Smith produced large wheat crops. His average 
for many years being thirty-four bushels in place of sixteen 
bushels, which was the average yield of the locality. He used no 
manure, but simply parcelled out his field in strips five feet wide 
and grew the crop in drills on alternate strips in successive years. 
The vacant strips were spaded and ploughed deeply and frequently, 
so that by the disintegration of soil and absorption of carbonic 
acid^and nitrogen from the air. plant-food enough for the next 
year's crop was secured. The Lois-Weedon system clearly shows 
what tillage and spacing can do without a particle of manure for 
a good many years. 

Climatic Influence. It should be mentioned here that deep 
cultivation is not, from the point of view of liberating plant-food, 
so essential in warm climates as in cold climates. Disintegration 
of deep-seated soils is favoured by warmth, which generates carbon- 
dioxide gas from organic matter and from disintegrating carbonates. 
Boussingault traced disintegration to- a depth of three hundred 
feet in a warm mine. The corrosive action of air and water 
goes on much faster in warmer than in colder climates. The air 
in the pores of the cultivated soils is highly charged with carbon- 
dioxide, it is also found in natural waters usually to the extent of 
nearly one per cent, and more in water that has passed through 
soils containing limestones and vegetable matter. The carbon- 
dioxide enables water to dissolve and convey to the plants many 
fertilizing substances which are hardly soliible in pure water. 
Phosphate of lime and phosphate of iron even are not altogether 
insoluble in water charged with carbon-dioxide. 



THEORIES UNDERLYING CULTIVATION. 



73 



Formation of nitrates. Every well-tilled field maybe regarded in 
the light of a saltpetre-bed. The value of nitrates for crops 
cannot be over-estimated, and the formation of potassium and 
calcium nitrates is facilitated by open tilth in the presence of 
organic matter and a little moisture, by the action of nitrifying 
bacteria. The value of keeping land in tilth during the dry months 
(i.e., from December to May) cannot therefore be over-stated. 
During the wet months ploughed up soils should be in crop, or else 
the excess of plant-food made available by tillage operations mav 
be washed away by rain. 

Drainage and Irrigation. The object of draining the soil is to 
admit air. which water-logging would prevent. \Vhcr<> a field 
is so situated that draining is not feasible, the land should he 
ridged before sowing for the kharif season or the ridging done after 
the plants (?.</., maize, groundnut, etc.), are nine inches high, 
me crops are injured more than others by water-logging, but no 
p, except some varieties of winter and Boro rice and aquatic 
plants, can stand water-logging 
throughout the season of its 
growth. Excess of moisture 
is specially injurious at and 
immediately after the period of 
germination, also at the periods 
of flowering and ripening. 
This is why Nigarh or letting 
out of water in September or 
October is practised in some 
districts as, for instance, in 
Orissa, for the rice-crop. Niyarh 
also helps tillering of the plants 
if done earlier in the season. If 
it is necessary to irrigate for 
helping on germination, it is 
better to irrigate the field be- 
fore sowing than after sowing. 

If a field is irrigated in preparation for sowing, i 
advisable to wait until the soil is sufficiently dry for passing the 
Bakhar for the preparation of a tilth and for breaking the surface- 
pan. Scattering of water on the fields after the sowing of seed, 
does, however, no harm. For this purpose, the use of irrigation 
ladles or spoons is advised. (Fig. 1.) 

Bakharing and Trenching. Trenching brings the subsoil to the top, 
and where the subsoil is known to be as rich as the surface soil, 
this operation may be resorted to. It is, however, much more 
expensive than ploughing, as trenches have to be dug with spades. 
Trenching is done before valuable perennial plants. Mich as roses, 
are planted, Trenching i< practised in Bengal for growing man- 
kachu and in Ireland for growing potatoes. The Irish s\4<Mn of 




FIG. 1. IRRIGATION SPOON. 



is 



HANDBOOK OP AGRICULTURE. 



growing potatoes is called the lazy-bed system. The land is 
divided into strips as in the Lois-Weedon system already described, 
and from the bare strips, earth is dug out and spread over the strips 
on which potatoes are planted. Two such operations are equiva- 
lent to the two earthings. These bare strips or trenches are used 
for planting potatoes the next year and earth is dug out of the strips 
which had potatoes on them the previous year. Trenching may 
be done with advantage in growing high class sugarcane. Even 
ordinary sugarcane should be grown in trenches in Bengal, as from 
January to March, when sugarcane should be planted, the soil is 




FIG. 2. THE DOUBLE-MOULD-BOARD PLOUGH. 

very dry at the surface. Shallow trenches may be dug with a double- 
mould-board plough (Fig. 2). Making trenches with a double- 
mould-board plough costs less than one-sixth of what it does when 
trenching is done with spades. There are trenching ploughs used 
in Europe, but these require very powerful horses to work them. 

Ridging The object of ridyiny or hilling is to expose the 
largest surface to the action of air, heat, cold and moisture, 
and also to prevent accumulation of water immediately at the base 
of plants. For clay-soils ridging is of great benefit especially when 

water-logging is fear- 
ed, so that most crops 
which are cultivated 
from June to Septem- 
ber should be grown 
on ridges or ridging 
done after the plants 
are a foot or two high. 
Sowing in trenches is 
advisable in the dry 

weather and so ridging should be done, specially in clay soils, 
for dry weather crops also. Ridging facilitates sowing in lines 
and using of hoes. The ridges can be split or spread out 
with the double-mould-board plough or a Hunter hoe (Fig. 3), and 




FIG. 3. THE HUNTER HOE. 



THEORIES UNDERLYING CULTIVATION. 



75 



the soil levelled, as in the case of sugarcane, potatoes, ground-nuts, 
mulberry and other crops which are benefited by subsequent earth- 
ing. The splitting of ridges after the plants are sufficiently high, 
acts like manuring. Sour and boggy soils are particularly benefited 
by rid^hitf, as free access of oxygen reduces the organic acids and 




FIG. 4. NATIVE PLOUGH FITTED UP AS A RIDG^G PLOUGH. 

converts sulphides into sulphates. Neither nitrites nor nitrates 
can exist in black, non-aerated, stiff and damp clay, until the soil 
is exposed to the action of air, which is best done by ridging. 
Ridging or splitting of ridges thus serves the following purposes : 
(a) Covering, say, potatoes, (b) preventing water-logging, (r) sup- 
porting maize, sugarcane and other r,all crops and preventing their 
lodging, (d) manuring a growing crop with properly nitrified and 
aerated soil, (e) correcting acidity and poisons by aerification, and 
(/) earthing. Mr. F. Fletcher, 
late Deputy Director of Agri- 
culture, Bombay, uses the 
country plough for making 
ridges on which irrigated crops 
are grown. He uses a board of 
the shape shown at A in Fig. 
4. It has two slits that lit into 
the parts of the plough B and 
also holes through which a rope 
can be passed to fix the board 
in position. 

Subsoiling. The use of mould-boards for ploughing is of 
great importance as they invert the soil, thus bun/ing sods and 
exposing a new layer to the action of tho dements. With the 
ordinary country plough, scratching of the soil is effected, but not 
over-turning of the soil. With the help of the mould-board the 
soil is overturned. Subsoiling and subsoil-ploutjhiny are Jono with 
the object of admitting air and moisture into the subsoil. 




FIG. 5. THE SUBSOILER. 



76 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

Subsoiling only stirs the subsoil, but subsoil-ploughing brings the 
subsoil to the surface. A subsoiler (Fig. 5) may be attached to a 
plough if more bullocks are used. The surface-soil is usually richer, 
especially in organic matter, than the subsoil, and it is often un- 
desirable to bring up the subsoil to the surface by trenching or 
subsoil-ploughing. But it is very desirable to stir the subsoil for 
certain crops with the object not only of admitting air and moisture 
into it and facilitating the penetration of roots, but also of breaking 
the impervious pan which is formed by the sole of the European 
plough. Subsoiling may be also done by a country-plough being 
passed behind a plough fitted with mould-board, the plough on 
the rear stirring the soil of the furrow made by the front plough 
in the same way as a subsciler working behind a plough does the 
work. Deep-ploughing is best done in this country by passing 
one plough behind another along the same groove. 

Another object of deep-ploughing, trenching or subsoiling 
is to increase the water-holding-capacity of soils. Loose earth 
receives and stores more water than compact earth. Ploughing 
a field in May after a very heavy shower of rain one may find the 
furrow turned up, wet only superficially, and dry at its deeper layers. 
Loose earth could retain over forty per cent, of its weight of 
water, while the same earth in a very compact condition would 
hold only about twenty-five per cent. 

Rolling and Mulching. On tjie other hand, soil which is too 
loose, will not allow water to raise in it and does not firmly 
support the plants growing on it. A tilth too open is not desirable 
especially for light soils, which should be rolled after ploughing 
and harrowing. Rolling and mulching are practised to cause 
moisture to rise in the soil and to retain the moisture respectively. 
By* ' mulch ' is meant anything laid on tilled soil to keep in 
moisture, such as leaves and straw, bits of cowduag cake, etc. 
Too free a subsoil may also result in water sinking too quickly, 
leaving the surface soil hungry. Extremes should therefore be 
avoided in tilling operations. 

Harrowing.- The object of harrowing is to level the land after 
ploughing, produce a good tilth, and to collect the weeds. Where 
the land has to be ridged the operation of ridging follows that 
of harrowing. The native ladder acts, both as a harrow and a 
roller inasmuch as it collects weeds, levels the land and gives it a 
certain amount* of compactness, But the work is done very 
imperfectly by a ladder. The beam or the levelling board used 
in other parts of India is not effective in collecting weeds, but it is 
more effective than the ladder for levelling land and giving it 
compactness. It is advisable to introduce a light harrow and a 
light wooden roller (which can be easily managed by a pair of 
bullocks), in the farm operations of Bengal. k 

Burning tto sod is recommended only for new jungle land, for 
peaty soils and for some clay lands, i.e., on clay lands which 



MOTIVE-POWER OR PRIME MOVERS. 77 

contain a good deal of silicate of potash and some lime. The lime 
decomposes the silicate and liberates some of the potash. All 
clays are benefited by moderate burning which makes the land 
more friable and less plastic. Moderate burning, i.e., burning in 
slow heat, if necessary, stifle-burning, should be resorted to, except 
in new jungle land where the loss of nitrogenous matter would not 
be so severely felt as in ordinary agricultural land. Stifle-burning 
corrects acidity of soils, and clears it of weeds, insects, fungi and 
their seeds. If burning is done too freely, not only is there too 
much loss of organic matter and nitrates, but the physical 
character of the soil becomes deteriorated, i.e., impervious brick- 
like masses are formed on the surface. 

Warping As it is not practicable to improve soil by mixing 
with it soil of a different character carted from another locality, 
the same result is sometimes achieved in sandy, stony or peaty 
soils, favourably situated, by the operation known as uwrpiny. 
A bund two or three feet in height is nit up around the land to be 
improved, and the enclosed land is sometimes further partitioned 
off by smaller bunds. Then the muddy water of a stream, at the 
beginning of the rainy season, is diverted into this area, where it 
flows from one compartment to another, until the whole area is 
filled. A film of silt is deposited, and by repeating the operation 
several inches of silt may be accumulated on the land in one season. 
Where tides come in, warping is very easy to regulate by means 
of a sluice or flap-gate, as in the low lands to the south of the Sibpur 
College, where the object is not so much the fertilizing of the land 
as the raising of its level. 



CHAPTER XL 
MOTIVE-POWER OR PRIME MOVERS. 

[Classification ; Work of man ; English farm-labourer and different classes of 
Indian farm-labourers compared ; Wages for piece-work ; Animal-power, 
where suited ; Improvement of Indian z\griculture chiefly by means of a 
more extended employment of bullock-power ; Calculation comparing horse- 
power with Bengal bullock-power ; Bullock gears ; Wind-power ; Cheap 
wind-mills, aeromotors ; Power-mills ; Calculation for estimating efficiency 
of aeromotors ; Erection of aeromotors ; Water-power ; efficiency of 
water-wheels and turbines compared ; Advantages of water-power over 
other forms of power for agricultural purposes ; Steam-power~~Stationary, 
portable and traction engines ; Gas and oil-engines ; Oil-engine, and 
centrifugal pumping water; Electricity as a motive-power.] 

WORK done on the farm may be divided into seven classes in 
those countries where agriculture has attained a very high state of 
efficiency. These are : (1) Work of man ; (2) Work done by animal- 
power, viz., horses, mules, donkeys, bullocks, etc. ; (3) Work done 
by wind-power ; (4) Work done by water-power ; (5) Work done 
by steam-power ; (6) Work done by explosive action of gas and 
oil-engines ; (7) Work done by electricity. 



78 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

Work of Man. Where work has to be done on a large scale the 
first form of work is the most expensive, the second less expensive, 
the third still less, and so on. Wherever therefore animal-power, 
wind-power, water-power, steam-power, etc., can be made use of, 
the employment of hand-power should be avoided, as a general 
rule. In this country the management of labour is of very great 
difficulty. An Indian labourer who will hand-weed one-tenth 
of an acre a day working for himself, can hardly be got to do one- 
fortieth of an acre for his employer. Apart from this, there is the 
general advantage of mechanical over hand-power. In hilling 
an acre of maize or potatoes, for instance, with kodalies the cost 
comes to Us. 5 or Us. 6 near Calcutta, while with a ridging plough 
or a Hunter hoe the same work can be accomplished at an expen- 
diture of only about eight to twelve annas. Of course, work of 
such a nature as requires reason and judgment for guidance must 
be done by man, for instance, attendance on cattle and other live- 
stock, planting and transplanting, management of machinery, etc. 
Some work which can be done by machinery is more cheaply and 
conveniently done by hand-power, for instance, binding of sheaves. 
[n managing Indian labour it is very necessary to have a sirdar 
or foreman, or overseer to look after the labourers, unless the pro- 
prietor of the farm can do so himself. If the proprietor IP himself 
an expert cultivator accustomed to doing rough work, he can 
always get more work out of labourers by himself working with 
the gang. Working Indian labourers on the gang system is very 
important, and yet each man should be given a separate piece of 
work to do that the amount and quality of each man's work may 
be judged. It is not of course necessary to employ all the labour- 
ers on the same field and in the same work at the same time. It 
is enough if the overseer can easily see each man from where he 
is, doing his allotted piece of work. When labourers distribute 
themselves in different parts of a farm and work outside the imme- 
diate ken of the foreman, they do very little work. There are 
some works, such as broadcasting, dibbling or hand-drilling of 
seed, planting, cuttings, etc., which need close watching. There 
are usually two ways of doing a work, a careful and a careless 
way. It is less troublesome doing work carelessly, and unless 
labourers are immediately corrected when they take to careless 
ways, they get into the habit of working carelessly. A great deal 
depends upon proper habits being engrafted to labourers. When 
Indian labourers 'once get into the habit of doing some work in the 
proper manner, they continue to do the work in the proper manner, 
even when they are not very closely watched. Some of the culti- 
vator's habits are hereditary, and some castes are therefore found 
doing work faster and in a neater manner than others. It is less 
troublesome, for instance, sticking sugarcane cuttings in prepared 
soil,- anyhow, so that some are planted six inches deep while others 
only one \>r two inches deep. But whenever a labourer plants a 
cutting one or two inches deep, he must be made to plant it five 



MOTIVE-POWER OR PRIME MOVERS. 79 

or six inches deep, until a proper habit is established. A labourer, 
however, who is accustomed to do sugarcane planting in his own 
family, will habitually plant the cuttings at this depth, when plant- 
ing them erect, or three inches deep when planting them horizon- 
tally. If expert labourers can be secured, it is always better. But 
cultivators in this country go in for cultivating so few crops that 
expert labourers can be had in any particular locality only for 
doing the cultivation of two or three crops properly. An ordinary 
cultivating labourer in Bengal will transplant paddy neatly and 
fast, broadcast jute and kalai seeds evenly, harvest the paddy 
and the jute in the proper style, but in doing the cultivation of a 
new kind of crop he will be found awkward and slow. An intelli- 
gent man must be behind him to insist on the work being done 
properly and fast. 

The calculation for hand-power is fraught with more difficulty 
than that for stearn-power, horse-power, or bullock-power. An 
English farm labourer in his own country does far more work than 
an Indian farm-labourer, and an Indian farm-labourer will do far 
more work for himself than for another party, while one class of 
labourers even in the same part of the country does habitually 
more work than another class of labourers. Further complica- 
tion arises from the fact that a certain class of labourers will do a 
certain kind of work well while they will do another kind of work 
very imperfectly. The Sonthal labourer will dig more than a 
Bengali labourer, but the latter will transplant more paddy. The 
Sonthal woman will transplant a great deal more paddy than the 
Sonthal man. An English farm-labourer in digging does 250 
foot-pounds of work per minute. In the Bengal Famine operations 
of 1897 an average quantity of about 100 cubic ft. of earth was 
raised 3 ft. during 6 hours, and the weight of a cubic ft. of earth 
being taken as 100 Ibs., the work done in 6 hours was about 100 x 
100x3 ft.-Jb. or, ~-^ XJ = about 83 ft.-lb. per minute. As the 
famine labourers were mostly non-professional diggers and as 
they were somewhat weak, the work done by the average Bengali 
labourer habitually employed in digging may be calculated at about 
125 foot-pounds per minute, though cases of 200 to 300 cubic ft. of 
earth being dug by one man sometimes came to notice even in 
the fanr* Deration. Basing on this calculation of a Bengali 
laboure a ^ v ^ ble generally to perform only half the amount ot 

work r ^ 3' 'ish labourer, he should be able to show 
gene ~ 

(1) 125 ft.-lb. of work per minute in digging. 

(2) 165 ft.-lb. filling dung in carts. 

(3) 250 ft.-lb. pitching corn. 

(4) 2,000 ft.-lb. rowing a boat. 

In filling dung in carts, an English labourer will load thirty 
to forty cubic yards in ten hours to an average height of four feet. 
The weight of fresh dung is twelve to fourteen cwts. and of well- 
made rotted dung, one ton per cubic yard. 50,000 Ibs. lifted into 



80 HANDBOOK OF AGBICULTURE. 

carts four feet high means 200,000 Ibs. raised one foot high per day 
of ten hours, which is equivalent to 330 foot-pounds per minute. 
In pitching corn an English labourer can pitch the corn of one acre 
per hour, i.e., two tons of grain and straw. The average height 
to which the corn is pitched is six feet 5,000 Ibs. lifted 6 ft. high 
30,000 ft.-Ib. per hour, i.e., 500 ft.-lb. per minute. 

The relation between horse-power and human-power is as 7 : 
1 in the case of English labourer. We may approximately put 
down the relation between horse-power and the power exerted 
by a Bengali labourer as 14 : 1. But it entirely depends upon the 
character of the particular work whether human power is so much 
less efficient or still less so. For steady draught purposes a pair 
of Bengal bullocks is at least ten times as efficient as a labourer, 
though theoretically a Bengal bullock, as we shall presently see, is 
only one-and-a-half times as powerful as a Bengali labourer. 

Calculating wages at three annas a day, the average cost of 
the principal farm operations where hand-power is partly or 
wholly employed, is given below. It must be remenbered, how- 
ever, that wages are steadily rising and that three annas a day, 
which was a good wage in Bengal a few years ago, is now very 
bad except in certain tracts like Behar. 

PER ACHE. 



Rs. 


A. 


P. 


First ploughing with laddering (inclusive of the cost 








of keep of cattle) 


i 


2 





Ditto (exclusive of keep of cattle) 





12 





Second and subsequent ploughing with laddering . . 





12 





Ditto (exclusive of cattle) 





9 





Grubbing, harrowing, rolling, bakharing (inclusive 








of cattle) 





6 





Making furrows with ridging plough 





12 





Making furrows with kodalies (country spades) 3 J ft. 








apart and 1 ft. deep 


3 


12 





Planting sugarcane or mulberry cuttings or seed- 








potatoes, including covering with earth 


4 


8 





Irrigating with sewny, or Cawnpore pump 


3 








Irrigating with don 


1 


8 





Spreading manure in trenches, including covering^ 








the manure . . . . . . Wi 


8 





Spreading manure broadcast . . ^ j n 


4- 


6 





Hilling with kodalies 


5 








Hilling with Hunter hoe (inclusive of cattle) 





8 





Spading fallow land for thorough digging 


6 








Hand-hoeing* 


3 








Wheel-hoeing with Planet Jr. hoe 





9 






* Cultivator* usually spend Rs. 6 per acre for hand -weeding paddy, as they 
have to pay 6 to 8 annas a day to a labourer at the weeding season. 



MOTIVE POWER OR PRIME MOVERS. 81 

PER ACRE. 

Rs. A. P. 

Cutting and stripping sugarcane .. . . 11 4 

Cutting paddy with hooks or s ckles . . ,.180 

Thrashing and winnowing paddy with hand thrash- 
ing and winnowing machines . . ..480 

Transplanting paddy . . . . ..120 

Sowing seed broadcast . . . . . . (> 

Sowing seed in drill with Planet Jr. hoe . . 180 

Wherever possible work should be got done % by contract at 
the above rates, even by labourers employed by the month. 
Piece-work or work done by contract is, however, apt to be done 
carelessly unless proper supervision is exercised. 

Animal Power. Horse, cattle, or donkey-power is utilised 
for three classes of work. (1) For direct draught or haulage as in 
drawing carts, ploughing, etc. (2) For application to machines 
to turn a capstan giving motion to a wheel or windlass, e.g., in 
thrashing corn, ginning cotton, pumping water, etc., by animal 
power. (3) For pedalling to turn a tread-mill for communicating 
power or lifting water. Work done by draught-animals, aided by 
human reason, is Jess expensive per unit than work done by 
hand-power, and it is by the substitution of hand-power by cattle- 
power that a great many agricultural improvements may be effected 
in this country. With a Hunter hoe (it may be repeated here) 
which is easily drawn by a pair of country bullocks, maize or potato 
fields may be ridged at a cost of about eight annas per acre, while 
the same work done by hand-power with kodalies will cost Rs. 5, 
and if the labourers are not closely watched the cost will even exceed 
this amount. Hand-weeding is more efficient, but for most crops 
hoeing with bullock-hoes will be found sufficiently effective. 
Freeing land of weeds is not of such importance as giving vigour 
to the growing crop, which often results in weeds being smothered. 
When mechanical power (i.e., steam, etc.) cannot be conveniently 
and extensively employed, e.g., when fields are small, uneven and 
crooked, or cut by natural water-courses, it is better and cheaper 
to cultivate with the aid of draught-animals than with steam. As 
Bengal fields are not like English fields, which are say from ten to 
twenty acres in area, and as they are enclosed by ahirs or borders, 
and cut by natural water-courses, steam ploughing and steam culti- 
vation generally are usually quite unsuitable for Bengal conditions. 
The introduction of implements suitable for the employment of bul- 
lock-power more extensively than it is now, is of the utmost import- 
ance. Indian cultivators are, as a rule, averse to using mechanical 
appliances. In this, as in other matters, they have got to be habit- 
uated to see the advantage of using mechanical appliances before 
they begin to take to them. Even when the advantage of some 
mechanical appliance or some new method has been demonstrated 
to them, they are apt to fall back on their own old appliances and 

M, HA (5 



82 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

the methods to which they had been accustomed. In dealing with 
Indian raiyats the questions of habit and of local influence are of 
considerable importance. 

Bullock-power. Bengal bullock-power may be ascertained 
in the following way : A pair of Bengal bullocks, it may be 
observed, walk about 66 ft. per minute while ploughing, the 
draught exerted being about 100 Ibs. The fields of the Sibpur 
Farm being all 66 ft. wide, the facts stated here have been con- 
stantly tested. The work done per minute by a pair of Bengal 
bullocks is therefore 66 x 100 - 6,600 ft.-lb. per minute, i.e., 
3,300 ft.-lb. per bullock per minute. The work done by ono 
English farm-horse can be similarly ascertained to be about 33,000 
ft.-lb. (which is the theoretical horse-power, the unit of measure- 
ment for steam and other high powers). The Bengal bullock 
therefore performs ten times less work than the English farm- 
horse. The actual horse or bullock-power is only two-thirds of 
the nominal horse or bullock-power, as in the above calculation no 
account is taken of loss of times in turning, and for other stoppages. 
So compared to Watt's horse-power or theoretical horse-power 
the actual English horse-power and Bengal bullock-power are 
respectively as 33,000 : 22,000 : 2,200 ft.-lb. 

Draught animals do not perform the same amount of work 
while working a chain pump or thrashing machine by walking 
round and round a track, as they do while ploughing. 1st, the 
position of the animals in a bullock-gear is inconvenient ; 2ndly, 
they cannot exert their full power in a bullock-gear ; and, 3rdly, 
force is lost by pulling at an angle. 

In England a pair of horses is calculated as sufficient for keep- 
ing fifty acres in cultivation ; and our cultivators calculate one 
yoke of Bengal oxen as being sufficient for keeping sixteen bighas 
(about five acres) in cultivation. Thus from actual practice also 
it is deducible that an English farm-horse is able to do ten times as 
much work as a Bengal bullock, and that the work done by a 
Bengal bullock, while ploughing, is 2,200 ft.-lb., as stated above. 
On light soil, three horses are kept in England for every hundred 
acres of land. On this calculation we would require in Bengal 
thirty bullocks for working one hundred acres of light land or about 
one yoke of oxen for twenty bighas. In stocking a farm in Lower 
Bengal these figures should be borne in mind. A pair of Gujarat, 
Nellore, Dakshini, or Hissar bullocks do three times the work of 
Bengal bullocks. Gujarat bullocks are weaker footed than Dak- 
shini animals and on hard soil they are not able to work long. 

It will be long before bullock-power will be replaced by steam 
or electricity in this country for farm operations. Steam and 
other engines deteriorate as time goes on ; cattle have a tendency 
to multiply. That horses are a farm-produce, is one of the chief 
considerations why horses are mainly employed in English farm 
operations even where steam is applicable. Judiciously managed, 



MOTIVE POWER OR PRIME MOVERS. 83 

the employment of bullock-power in a farm not only costs little, 
but it actually becomes a source of income to the farm. From the 
third year of their life to the tenth year bullocks can be worked 
and afterwards they can be sold off, while a few cows may be main- 
tained on the farm to keep up a supply of vigorous young stock. 
Such works as churning, thrashing, husking, pulping, pumping, 
ginning, which are more cheaply done by wind or steam-power, 
can be done by bullock-power when the bullocks have a slow 
time and when there is not much work to be done on the 
farm. 

To help the more efficient employment of bullock-power it 
is necessary to have a bullock-gear to which such light machinery 
as thrasher, huller, winnower, churn, pump, pulper, chaff-cutter 
or cake-crusher, can be attached. The attachment is made by 
means of a leather belt which communicates the motion of the 
revolving capstan (to which the bullock-shaft is attached by means 
of a large cog-wheel which turns a smaller pinion-wheel) to the 
machinery concerned. There are many forms of gearing for ob- 
taining increased speed, even for working such high-speed machines 




FIG. 6. MESSRS. LISTER'S TRIPLEX HOUSE-GEAR. 

as centrifugal cream-separators. The best and most efficient is 
Messrs. Lister's Triplex Horse-Gear (Pig. 6) which requires no 
intermediate gearing. The lay-shaft makes 64 revolutions to one 
of the horse, so that by attaching a 24-inch cog-wheel at the end 
of the shaft working in gear with a small pinion, it is possible to 
drive a cream-separator without the intervention of a leather belt 
or rope. 

Wind-power Though wind-mills are going out of fashion 
in highly civilized countries, they seem to be specially appropriate 
for India. The improved windmills or aeromotors, the introduc- 
tion of which is being attempted by some of the agricultural de- 
partments of India, cost so much at the first setting up, that they 
do not seem to be adapted for the use of the ordinary raiyat. The 
old-fashioned English windmills which have been introduced into 
British colonies of South Africa with such success, seem well adap- 



84 



HANDBOOK OF AGEICULTUKE. 



ted for India. Windmills of cheap construction are popular in the 
United States also, whence we get the Chicago aeromotors. A 
cheap windmill may be constructed without a vane, and the wheel 
is so fixed as to be driven only by the prevailing wind during the dry 
season, which in Lower Bengal are from north and south, or a few 
points off either way. The sails would catch the wind only when 
it is about northerly or southerly, and the mill would thus be set 
in motion. When the wind is easterly or westerly it would not 
move. Jt is necessary to enclose the lower part with boards or walls 
so as to exclude the wind from all sides except from the top, and 
the action of the mill would correspond to that of an over-shot 
water-wheel. The figure given here (Fig. 7) illustrates a windmill 
which would cost only about 11s. 50 constructing. There is au 
iron axle to which are G fans or sails (5ft. x (3ft.) attached. The 
" Jumbo-box " is 12 ft. long by 8 ft. wide by (> ft. high. The axle 
is mounted on posts. Such a windmill has* been known to pump 
water for one hundred head of cattle from an eighteen foot well. 
The whole arrangement, if a pump is provided, can be set up by 

a village carpenter and a 
blacksmith. Any old lum- 
ber, such as split rails, old 
packing boxes, tin from old 
tin roots, can be pressed into 
the service in the construc- 
tion of these mills. The sails 
may be constructed either 
narrow and tall or square or 
oblong, the object being the 
offering of a large surface of 
obstruction for the wind. 
With proper mechanical 
arrangements these home- 
made mills cannot only be 
used for pumping water, biit 
also for working a grind- 
stone, for ginning cotton, for 
sawing wood, for churning 
butter, for cutting chaff, for crushing oil-cake and doing other 
ordinary barn-door work. The old forms of windmill (called post- 
tower, or smock-mill) with a 15| ft. radius and with a breeze of 
eight miles per hour yield about one horse-power of energy. 

Power-Mill. In a large farm, where it is worth while having 
chaff-cutters, cake-crushers, etc., worked by wind or water-power, 
it is important to have the mill working at all seasons, specially 
at the wet season, when indoor work is preferable to out-door work. 
The self-adjusting windmills of modern construction* are preferable 
for constant work, as even with very light wind they do fairly good 
work, and the vane turns the wheel in such a manner, that what- 




Fio. 7. TUB HOME-MADE WINDMILL. 



MOTIVE POWER OR PRIME MOVERS. 



35 



the direction of the wind may be, the sails catch it and work 
the mill. The whole expense is incurred in the first erection. 
Afterwards oiling once a week is all that is needed. Rs. 2,000 laid 
out in the erection of a power-mill, one form of which is repre- 
sented here (Fig. 8), can be got back in two years, in a properly 
organised farm. 




FIG. 8. THE AUUOMOTOR (POWER MILL). 



Windmills of modern construction, called also aeromotors, 
are either vertical or horizontal. The mill represented here in 
Fig. 8 is a vertical mill, the motion of the wheel being vertical. 
The sails of a horizontal mill move horizontally. 

Useful Tables. A few tables regarding velocity of wind, etc., 
may be found very useful in connection with the question of 
efficiency of windmills. 



86 



HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 



Popular Description. 

Breeze hardly percep- 
tible ... 
Gentle breeze 

Pleasant breeze .. J 

Brisk gale 
Veiy high v/ind 
Storm 
Hurricane 



Velocity of icind. 



per hour. 



15 
20 
40 
50 
100 



miles Equivalent in feet 
per second. 

1-47 
7-33 
14-07 



29'3 

58 -G 

73-3 

146 (i 



Force exerted 
pe square 
foot of sail. 



005 

123 

492 

1-107 

1-96H 

7-S72 

12-300 

49-200 



Ibs. 



Discharge of ir<ilet' />// pum/*. 

Amount of wntcr disc'h. 
i>y every i' eh of 

pump-j-troke. 
0076 Dillons. 



Diameter of pump- 


Weight of water contained 


cylinder. 


in 1-ft. length of cylinder. 


1J inch 


774 Ibs. 


2 inches 


I -372 


Ol 

-"2 




2-159 




3 




3 087 




3i 




4-214 




4 




(V488 




5 




8-573 





0300 
OUO 
05 H 

0850 



Efficiency of Aovmofors. 



Height to whi,h Diameter to pnmp. Gallons per hour 
water is to be cy Unaer when when 8 foot 

lifted. b-foot mill used. miii used. 



foofc v _ f 
mi] , , lni| , usCf 



10 
15 
20 
25 
30 
40 
50 
(>() 
70 
80 
100 



ft. 



8 inches. 

<j 

5 



4 

31 

3. 1 , 



i 



3,634 
1,703 
1/224 

9HH 
784 
68!) 
6<K) 
518 
440 
37) 
30(i 
248 



10 inches. 



5 

4J, 

4^ 

4 

*l 

3* 



5,508 

4,700 

3.525 

2,644 

l,93 

1,377 

1 ,377 

1,115 

8*2 

882 

770 



Calibre of pump-cylinder The above table gives the efficiency 
of aeromotors when the velocity of wind is of the average 
strength, i.e., about sixteen miles an hour. A mill with a wheel 
eight feet in diameter is constructed to have a pump-stroke of six 
inches. A mill with a twelve-foot wheel is constructed either with 
nine-inch or one-foot pump-stroke. The two pump-cylinders 
with eight inch and six-inch diameters noted with asterisks(*) in 
the above table are assumed to have the long stroke (one foot) 
attachment. With average velocity of wind, an eight-foot mill 
undergoes about forty strokes and a twelve-foot mill about thirty 
strokes per minute. With lighter winds the efficiency is less, 
and with stronger winds, more, than is indicated in the table. For 
irrigation purposes it is best to employ a cylinder of the calibre 
indicated in the table so as to get the maximum benefit from the- 
aeromotor. But cylinders of smaller calibre than those indicated 



MOTIVE POWER OR PRIME MOVERS. 87 

in the table may be used specially for small depths. The table 
gives the maximum diameter of the cylinder which can be safely 
employed for a given depth. Where an eight-inch cylinder may 
be employed it is false economy (specially when land has to be irri- 
gated) to use a two or three inch pipe ; though it should be noted 
that a very light breeze (i.e., of the velocity of two or three miles 
an hour) will work a two or three-inch pump when an eight-inch pump 
will require a fifteen or sixteen-mile breeze to work it. Local con- 
ditions, as to velocity of wind at the seasons in which irrigation is 
needed, and the depth of water at these seasons, should determine 
the choice of the calibre of the pump-cylinder. The pump should 
always be provided with a handle, as when the breeze is light, a 
little coaxing with the pump-handle, results in the wheel turning, 
and continuing to turn, with a comparatively gentle breeze, making 
further working of the handle unnecessary. 

Efficiency A twelve-foot mill develops two-and-a-half horse- 
power with average wind (i.e., wind blowing about sixteen miles 
per hour). 

Erection The tower should be erected about fifteen feet 
higher than the surrounding trees and buildings. After the tower 
has been erected the four anchor-posts which form the base of the 
tower should be protected with masonry work, that the tower which 
should be set plumb may a ways remain so. Even rat-holes tun- 
nelled underneath the anchor-posts on one side, will make the 
tower lean on that side. 

Price Steel windmills constructed by Messrs. S. Freeman 
& Sons, B. 21, Produce, Exchange, New York City, U. S. A., are 
priced thus : 

(One dollar --__: Rs. 3). 

8-ft wheel (iralvani/cd) . 42.', dollars 

Ii2-ft. ( ,, ) .. 100 ,. 

< ialvanized stool tower tor S ft null, 40 ft. high .. 58i 

Ditto 80ft. ,, .. 150 ,, 

Ditto for 12-fl mill 40 ft. ,, . 87 i 

Ditto 80ft. ,, ... 2i6 ., 

Attachments for power-mills, for feed-grinder, etc., are also 
supplied by the aeromotor companies The actual cost of erect ng 
the aeromotor at the Sibpur Experimental Farm (which has an 
8-ft. wheel and 40-ft. tower) was about Rs. 900. 

Water-power In utilising water-power initial expenditure 
is a very important factory. There is no loss of time in 
utilising wind and water-power as there is in using steam-power, 
and there is no expenditure on account of coal and cartage of 
water. If there is a constant flow of water, it is a more reliable 
and efficient motor than wind. A high elevat on or a precipitate 
fall is not necessary if the current is sufficiently strong. The cur- 
rent, that is, the speed of water, may be measured very simply. 



88 



HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 



Measure a distance o^ say, twenty yards, along the centre of the 
stream or channel intended to be utilized, and let a bit of cork, or 
any kind of light float be allowed to pass along this distance of 
twenty yards. This gives the velocity of the water at the middle 
of the channel. At the sides and at the bottom, the velocity is 
less. If the bottom and the sides of the channel are made of bricks, 
seventeen per cent, of the velocity ascertained in the above manner, 
should be taken off ; if the sides and bottom are of earth twenty- 
nine per cent, should be taken off, and if they are stony, irregular 
and rough, thirty-six per cent, should be taken off, in estimating the 
average velocity of a stream. Then by multiplying the section of 
the stream utilized by the reduced velocity, one gets the quantity 
of water expressed in the terms of so many cubic feet per minute. 

Efficiency The effective horse-power of the principal forms 
of water-motors are : 



For ordinary Undershot- wheels .. 

For ordinary Breast-wheels . 

For ordinary Overshot- wheels .. 

For Turbines .. 

For new fashioned wheels and turbines 



Of the theoretical horse-power, 



35 
55 

08 
70 
75 to 



per cent 



80 



c i 
height of 



The effective power varies according to the ingenuity of 
construction and erection, which minimises friction. Properly 
constructed, a breast- and overshot-wheel and a turbine 
may have a 75 per cent, efficiency. On the 75 per cent, basis, it 
has been ascertained that the height of the fall in feet 
multiplied by the number of cubic feet of water per minute, 
and divided by 706 gives the actual horse-power. So, 

^? f 11 -c 4. = number of cubic ft. of water required per 
f the fall in feet i j 

. , , horse-power X 706 . 

minute; and - ~ -- - - - - f - i7~r~~r -------- -*.- height 

quantity of water in cubic feet per minute to 

of all in feet requ red to produce the horse-power. The 
undershot- wheel though less efficient is more suitable for level 
countries like Lower Bengal. If the floats are made curved with 
their concavity backwards, increased efficiency will be obtained 
to that which is obtained from flat vanes. The race or channel 

should be short in the case of 
a11 the wheels > th h the tank 
or reserv i r f water should be 
as large as possible, that the 
current may be even and unin- 
terrupted. If the stream is 
constant a reservoir is not 
required, but a burnt c ay-pipe 
on a masonry* channel or race, 
increases the efficiency of a 
FIG. 9. TIIK OVERSHOT \VATEU-WIIKKL. wheel. When a water-wheel 



^ 

~" ..... j^|JB]||! 1h 




MOTIVE POWER OR PRIME MOVERS. 



89 



is drowned, i.e., when the tail is not sufficiently low to allow the 
water to run off freely, its efficiency is reduced by about one- fourth. 
The breast-wheel should have buckets instead of floats that by 
means of the weight of the water in the buckets the wheel may go 
down more readily, the buckets discharging their contents while 
going down. Thus constructed breast-wheel may be of the same 
efficiency as the overshot- wheel which receives the impulse earlier. 
But the bucket arrangement still further improves the efficiency 





FlG. 10. TliK BllJSAST-WHEEL,. 



FIG. 11. THK UNDKKSHOT-WHEEL. 



of the overshot-wheel. Fig. 9 represents in section an overshot- 
wheel with the bucket arrangement. Fig. 10 represents a breast- 
wheel with the ordinary kind of float, while Fig. 11 represents an 
undershot-wheel with curved floats. The lower portion of the 
wheels should be encased in brickwork in each case, the axle of the 
wheel resting on this brickwork whence the power is transmitted 








FIG. 12. THE TURBINE. 

to the various machinery worked in the barn. The diameter of 
the overshot-wheel should be a little less and that of the breast- 
wheel somewhat greater than the height of the fall of the water. 
The Turbine (Fig. 12) is a more complicated machine than 
the ordinary water-wheels, and not being capable of repair in vil- 
lages it is not so suited for agricultural requirements, though it 



90 HANJJBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

will prove far more useful where it can be introduced. It is not 
necessary to have a very great fall of water to woik a turbine and 
the wheel occupies very little space. As it can be run with h gh 
speed it is better adapted for driving machinery of different k nds. 
The water is received at the supply pipe (A), whence it is directed 
by curved guide-blades to the vanes of the wheel which revolves on 
a pivot. There is a screw arrangement at (C) for raising this pivot. 
The wheel is rigidly fixed at the bottom of a shaft (B) which com- 
municates the power to the machinery employed. The wheel 
and the guide-plates are covered by a cast-iron case or shell, and 
the wheel is kept in an exactly horizontal position by a special 
cover (D). The guide-blades are also rigidly kept in position by 
bell cranks and coupling rods (E.E.E.). The water having ex- 
pended its force acting on the vanes at different points, passes out 
of the centre both above and below. The turbine may be placed 
close to an opening at the bottom of a tank or reservoir of water, 
or the water may be led by a pipe into the turbine, wh ch may be 
placed in the barn instead of at the foot of the tank. The velocity 
of the wheel depends upon the height of the fal . But even with 
a small fall, the water has to squeeze its way in different directions 
between the guide-plates until it reaches the vane* of the wheel 
which it has to move before it can escape at the centre of the wheel 
above and below. In the figure the wheel inside the case is barely 
visible to the right of D, but the guide-plates are entirely hid from 
view. 

The advantages of water-power over other forms of mechanical 
power are : (1) its constancy, (2) its inexpensivcness, and (3) its 
simplicity. Water-wheels and turbines do not require ski 1 to 
drive them and they do not readily get out of order. (4) There is 
also less danger in using this median cal power than any other. 
A hurricane may bring down the wheel of an aeromotor ; steam 
may burst the boiler, and the fuel may burn the fire-box. Men 
and animals also do many kinds of damage, and where the r work 
can be wholly or partially replaced by the mechanical powers, 
work goes on more smoothly. The importance of having a farm 
near a flowing stream of water can never be overstated. Water- 
power is more readily available in hilly districts where differences 
of water-level within short distances are of frequent occurrence. 

Steam-power. Steam-engines which are. employed in farm- 
ing in highly civilised countries, are of three descriptions, viz.* 
stationary, portable and traction. Multitubular boilers are now 
in general use. Ordinarily 2| to 3 Ibs. of coal are consumed per 
horse-power per hour. Low-power stationary engines are useful 
in farms for dairy purposes, e.g., for steaming food, pulping and 
grinding and working the centrifugal cream separator. Steam 
is most essential for keeping dairy-utensils clean and free from 
germs. Portable engines are in more common use for ordinary 
farming. These are let out to farmers, who use them for thrashing 



MOTIVE POWER OR PRIME MOVERS. 91 

and winnowing their corn. The portable engines in general 
use are of eight horse-power. Traction engines, which are more 
powerful still, are used for ploughing, etc. They are not yet 
popular even in England, and we need make no further mention 
of them here. 

Gas-Engines and Oil-Engines are worked on the same principle. 
I)i each case explosion results in the generation of gases which 
under ordinary atmospheric pressure occupy more space than 
the substance which exploded did be ore explosion. By keeping 
these gases controlled within a cylinder and prevent ng their 
expansion, pressure is generated on the walls of the cylinder. A 
piston inserted inside this cylinder moves exactly in the same way 
as the piston of a steam-engine's cylinder by force of the steam. 
Explosion of coal-gas is a well-known phenomenon. In the ca.e 
of oil-engines an explosive oil, such as kerosene, is used. The oil 
is vapoured and igmted in the presence of air which is introduced 
into the vapouring chamber at the commencement of each stroke 
of the piston, this resulting in explosion. As oil is far more con- 
veniently carried and stored than coal, oil-engines are getting very 
popular for use in farms which are usually situated in outlying 
districts where cartage becomes expensive. The actual expense 
is also less. In terms of coal, an oil-engine consumes an equivalent 
of less than li Ib. per horse-power per hour against 2J Ibs. consumed 
by ordinary steam-engines. About one-tenth of a gallon of oil per 
horse-power per hour is required to work an oil-engine. Oil and 
<>as-engines require less skill in management than steam-engines, 
and they may be set in motion at less time, but they are, on the 
other hand, more liable to get out of order, having more little parts 
where soot may lodge, etc. Where sudden but temporary suspen- 
sion of work causes great inconvenience, e.g., in electric lighting, 
steam-engines are found more satisfactory than oil or gas-engines, 
but in farm operations such occasional stoppage causes no parti- 
cular inconvenience. Less water also is needed for working gas 
and oil-engines, as the water is required on y for cooling the 
cylinders. Gas and oil-engines are particularly suitable for inter- 
mittent work. In working steam engines' time is taken up in 
getting up steam, and if this has to be done two or three times 
a day there is waste of resources. Steam-engines arc, however, 
very useful where the use of steam for heating, cooking, clearing 
and sterilising is of primary considera ion, as in a dairy-farm 
or a fruit-farm, where jam and jelly are made on the premises. 
Except for such special purposes, a portable oil-engine is to be 
preferred to a steam-engine for farm use, where the owner has 
the means of introducing such forms of power. 

Oil-Engines and Centrifugal Pumps for well-irrigation Mr. A. Chatter- 
ton of Madras has been the great exponent in Ind a of irrigation 
from wells wi h oil-engines. In Southern India there a T e many 
raiyats who can afford to have large wells fitted with pumps and 



92 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

oil-engines at a cost of Rs. 4,000 or Es. 5,000, but in Bengal such 
raiyats may be said to be non-existent. For ordinary crops also, 
the outlay for wells and oil-engines cannot be recommended. 
The Eevd. A. Andrew of Ch ngleput a prominent supporter 
of Mr Cha terton's view., says : " The average value of crops 
per acre in the raiyatwari villages of the Presidency, excluding 
Malabar and South Canara, is only Rs 30 for rice, Rs. 10| 
for Ragi, Rs. 10 for Ch lum, and Rs. 9 for Cumbu. The average 
for all food-grains is only Rs 15 per acre, for oil-seeds it is Rs. 22. 
The average for garden produce is very much higher and more 
profitable. Chillies bring in on an average Rs. 100 ; turmeric, 
Rs. 250; sugarcane, Rs. 200, and tobacco, Rs. 100. It is evident, 
therefore, that it will not pay to use an engine and pump to raise 
water for the cultivation of food-grains, but it is quite different 
with regard to the cultivation of the more valuable crops. With 
them there is a very much greater margin left for meeting the larger 
expenditure of running a pump." Even with leference to the 
more valuable crops (which occupy an insignificant area) Madras 
peop e are not convinced from Mr Chat terton's experiments, that 
oil-engines and pumps would ever be able to replace the single mot 
except under special circumstances. Experienced planters in the 
Madras Presidency prefer Worthington's Pumps worked by highly 
efficient steam-engines to centrifugal pumps and oil-engines advo- 
cated by Mr. Chatterton. The maximum result attained at Mr. 
Andrew's farm with a well 24 ft. wide at the mouth and 23 ft. deep, 
with a smaller well 15 ft. \yide at the mouth and 7 ft. deep, at the 
bottom of the larger well (which is 23 ft. deep), was that a 3i h. p. oil- 
engine and a 3-inch centrifugal pump, were able to pump out at 
different seasons from (57,000 to 100,000 gallons of water per day, 
at a cost of Rs. 46 to Rs. GO per month. Twenty acres of land 
can be kept irrigated with this arrangement, biit the initial cost of 
having this arrangement (which is not mentioned by Mr. Andrew) 
would be prohibitive for the Bengal raiyat. 



CHAPTER XII. 
PLOUGHS AND PLOUGHING. 

[Indian ploughs of \arious si/es and efficiency ;. Defects of Indian ploughs ; 
Deep ploughing with cheap implements ; Improved plough ; Principles of 
improvement ; lijuropean ploughs swing-and wheel-ploughs, multiple- 
plonghs, seeding ploughs, paring ploughs, sub-soil-plough, double mould- 
board plough, pulverising- plough, one way-plou h, sulky plough ; Draught, 
swingle and yoke ; The potato-digger, steam -ploughs; Judging of plough- 
ing; English system of ploughing; Calculation of nrea that may be 
ploughed in one day ; Expert opinions regarding possibility of improving 
the Indian plough. 

THE Indian plough, consisting of a tongue of wood fitted 
with an iron tooth, a stilt for holding and a pole for attachment 
of bullocks, ordinarily works the soil to a depth which varies 



PLOUGHS AND PLOUGHING. 93 

much with the district. In Bengal this depth is only from three 
to five inches. This primitive implement, however, varies very 
much in weight, size and form, and some are very much more effec- 
tive than others. The Eungpur and Jalpaiguri ploughs, which 
are least efficient, scratch only about two inches of the soil, while 
the heavy Bundelkhand plough, weighing nearly three and a half 
maunds, stirs the soil to a depth of nine inches or a foot. 
This latter implement is worked by three pairs of oxen and nine 
men, and cultivators club together to use one another's bullocks 
in their fields. The Bihar ploughs generally are heavier and more 
effective than the Bengal ploughs, and they woik the soil to a 
depth of five inches. The Cuttack and Noakhali ploughs are x very 
heavy and the two sides of their body are shaped like two mould- 
boards, which give them the appearance of ridging ploughs. The 
ploughs of Saharanpur, Muzaffarnagar arid Meerut districts are 
shod with a horse-shoe-shaped iron round the edge of the tongue 
and instead of a small iron tooth, are fitted with a long pointed bar 
of iron which projects out behind the heel, and which can be forced 
forward as it gets worn out. The ' share ' of the Gujarat plough 
is arrow-shaped and it is fixed on a wooden sole. This share also 
can be pushed forward as it gets worn out. But the forms of the 
Indian plough in each province are numerous and in each locality 
the local plough should be chosen at first in preference to others, 
as the peculiarity of the local conditions has probably determined 
the local form. Change may be thought of after sufficient expe- 
rience has been gained of the local plough. 

The defects of the native plough are, first, that it has no 
mould-board, and it cannot in consequence invert the soil ; secondly, 
that it makes V-shaped furrows leaving ridges of unploughed land 
between, and thirdly, there is waste of power due to rudeness of 
construction. As a rule also, the native plough stirs the soil to a 
very slight depth and works only a bigha a day in place of three 
bighas or more which can be worked with ordinary English ploughs. 
But this is more the fault of the animals than the plough. Where, 
as in Gujarat and Nellore, large-sized cattle are used, the native 
plough is able to get over an acre a day. English or American 
ploughs make deeper rectangular furrows of wider width, and the 
upturned soil getting inverted, the grass and \veeds get covered 
up in the process of ploughing. As a rule, European and American 
ploughs are too heavy and too expensive for India. But a Swedish 
plough is habitually used in preference to all others in the Nagpur 
and Saidapet Experimental Farms, and at Sibpur a ridging plough 
and a turn-wrest-plough are used with a pair of ordinary bullocks. 
The bullocks of the Central Provinces and Madras being very much 
superior to Bengal bullocks the use of the Swedish plough is not 
considered objectionable. For heavy soils the Swedish plough is 
unsuitable especially for Bengal bullocks, but for light soils it can 
be tried with success where a better class of bullocks is available. 
The European double-mould-board-plough or ridging plough can 



94: HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

be worked with success on ploughed fields even by Bengal bullocks. 
There is some advantage in using this plough, especially on heavy 
soils, where sowing is to be done on ridges for rainy season 
crops, or in furrows for the dry season, or where subsequent earth- 
ing is done, as in the case of potatoes, ground-nuts, sugarcane and 
mulberry. The ridges can be split and the earth thrown on the 
furrows when required, for covering seed-potatoes, sugarcane- 
cutting, etc., or in the subsequent earthings. 

Deep ploughing is done with the ordinary native plough as 
also with superior ploughs, by one plough being passed behind 
another in the same furrow. Deep ploughing with cheap appliances 
can be done in another way also. The loose soil stirred by the 
first ploughing can be gathered in the dry season in two rows separ- 
ated by eight or nine ft. by passing a heavy A-shaped wedge of 
wood, which may be called the Meagher Dragger (Fig. 13), through 
the ploughed-up field. The driver sits on one of the cross-pieces 
and puts his legs against the other cross- 
piece when he is driving the bullocks along. 
The interval can be ploughed afterwards and 
the loose soil heaped up on the sides then 
spread over. This method of ploughing in 
two layers may be utilized with great 
advantage in introducing sewage-farming. 
The sewage-cart may be emptied in a very 
thin layer in the interval before the loose 
13 MwvdiiEii earth on the sides is spread over it. The 
DRA:t:Kii. deodorising effected is nearly complete. 

About two or three months after the spread- 
ing of the sewage, if it is done between March and June, the land 
will be found perfectly inoffensive. The addition of a little lime 
makes the operation still more harmless. Colonel Meagher, of 
the Allahabad Farm, has introduced a similar system of sewage 
farming to what is here described. 

Of the improved ploughs, the plough recently invented by Babu 
Rajeshwar Das Gupta, of the Eastern Bengal and Assam Agricul- 
tural Department, may be mentioned as on the whole the raiyat's 
ideal of an Indian plough. It has a mould-board of wood shaped 
in the body of the plough, which is otherwise a native plough with 
a wrought-iron tongue driven into it in place of a share. It works 
as well at least as the Sibpur plough, though it costs only Us. 4 
in making, and it can be made in any country-place. The Meston 
plough of the United Provinces Agricultural Department is another 
Rs. 4 plough, which is in some request among cultivators. It is 
light and very easy to work. It has a mould-board and its depth 
is easily adjustable. It is useless for heavy soils, as the cast-iron 
share breaks readily on such soils. The Watt's plough, also issued 
by the United Provinces Agricultural Department 4 is stronger and 
more efficient, but its price is Rs. 7. The Sibpur plough is rather 




PLOUGHS AXD PLOUGHING. 



95 



too heavy for ordinary Bengal bullocks, and its price is Rs. 7-8. 
Both Watt's plough and the Sibpur plough can be used for plough- 
ing heavy soils. The Sibpur plough is no better than the Watt's 



plough, and its construction has been suspended by Government. 
<Tes sop and Co.'s 



* Hindustani Plough/ 
Seeley's ' S.S. Plough,' 
the c Kaiser Plough' and 
the 'Baldeo Plough' of 
the United Provinces 
Agricultural Department, 
are other improved 
ploughs that may be 
mentioned here. The 
Baldeo plough, which 
has also a mould-board 
like the other improved 




Frc. 14. THE Snuuu PLOUGH. 



ploughs, has been actually sold for 




Fi< ;. 1 5, KECT A NG u LA u F n jmow-SiiCE. 

inch narrower and the 
abrupt curve, it would 
On the whole, it may be 



Rs. 3 each, but it is too light and inefficient, and it is altogether 

unsuitable for heavy classes 

of soil. The Sibpur plough 

or the Watt's plough does a 

little over one-third of an 

acre a day (eight hours) at 

the first ploughing and a 

little over half an acre a 

day at the subsequent 

ploughings. The bullocks 

should be at least high 

class Bengal bullocks. If 

the share of this plough is made an 

mould-board a little larger and of less 

answer for ordinary Bengal bullocks. 

said, that none of the 

so-called ' c im p r o v e d 

ploughs "answer all the 

requirements of lightness, 

cheapness and efficiency 

which the raiyat looks 

for. 

The "improved 
ploughs" not being pro- 
vided with a double stilt, 
the steering of the bul- 
locks can be done by the 

name man who holds down the plough. The Meston plough is so 
nicely balanced that it needs little effort on the part of the 
ploughman to hold it down, but, as already said, it is unsuitable 
for heavy soils. In Agricultural shows where the trial takes place 
on light soil, the Meston plough attracts the greatest attention 




FIG. 1 6. Tn A I'Kzoi i> A L F r u RO vv-S LICES. 



96 



HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 



and it commands some sale also among cultivators. The Das 
Gupta plough, which is of ruder construction, is stronger and 
more efiicient even on heavy soils. 



principles of improvements. -As there is no doubt we have not 
come to the limit of improvement in the manufacture of ploughs 
on rational principles for Indian raiyats, it is necessary to have a 
clear idea of the principles on which the construction of European 
or American ploughs is based, and of the character of the chief 
forms of these ploughs and the methods of using them. 

(1) The furrow-slices lifted by these ploughs are commonly 
rectangular in section (Fig. 15), but they are sometimes parallelo- 
grammatic and sometimes crested or trapezoidal (Fig. 16). The 
rectangular furrow is the best and ploughs that turn up rectangular 
furrow-slices are the best, other things being equal. (2) The 
furrow-slices should be laid evenly at an angle of about 45 to the 
horizontal. (3) The depth to width should be as 7 : 10 (seven 
inches being the usual depth and ten inches the usual width of a 
furrow made by an English plough). The objects of these angles 
and proportions are to expose the greatest surface to the action of 
air and to allow the harrow passing through the crests to form a 
proper tilth and seed-bed. When the width is too great for the 
depth, the furrow-slices lie flat and the harrow has not the same 
effect. If the depth is too great for the width, the furrow-slices 
stand on edge and show a tendency to faK back. (4) There ought 

furrow-slice may 
so gently curve 
a resistance to 



to be a coulter to give the vertical cut that the 



turn over 
backwards 
the soil. 



clean, 
that 



(5) The mould-board 
it will not offer too 



should 
great 



European ploughs. The common forms in use in Europe 
and America are : (1) the Swing-Plough, (2) the Wheel-Plough, 
(3) the Double-Furrow-Plough, (4) the Three-Furrow-Plough, 
(5) the Paring-Plough, (6) the Subsoil-Plough, (7) the Subsoil- 
stirrer or Subsoiler, (8) the Ridging or Double-mould-board-Plough, 
(9) the Pulverising-Plough, (10) the One-way-Plough, including 

the Turn-wrest or Turn- 
wrist Plough, and the 
Balance-Plough, (11) the 
Sulky Plough, (12) the 
Potato Digging Plough, 
and (13) the Steam- 
Ploughs. We will now 
shortly go through these 
that the reader may judge 

for himself whether any of tee or any portions of these can be 
introduced with success in this ' ount^v.' As the wheel-plough is 
practically a swing-ploug with wheels put * on, the same figure 
(Fig. 17) will answer for illustrating both the ploughs. 




FIG. 17.- THE WHEEL-PLOUGH. 



PLOUGHS AND PLOUGHING. 97 

The Swing-plough consists of the following parts : (1) The 
Body (A), or frame to which other parts are fixed. (2) The Sole, 
Bottom, Slav, or Plough-ground is the part to which the share or 
cutting part of the plough is attached. (3) The Share or Sock (C) 
which is often made of wrought-iron, when it can be relayed when 
damaged. For shallow stony soils shares are made more pointed 
and slightly bent downwards. It is usually fixed at an angle of 
7 from the ground to prevent its yielding. For soft or clay-soils 
the shares are made wider. Shares are sold separately for ten pence 
or a shilling each. Cast-iron shares are more common and they 
are harder. (4) The Heel (H) is the posterior part of the sole which 
the ploughman uses as his fulcrum in turning or raising the plough. 
(5) The Beam (B.B.) is the front portion of the plough between 
the Body and the Bridle. (6) The Head (T) is the front end of the 
Beam to which to Bridle (L) is fixed. (7) The Bridle or Hake (L) 
by which the depth of the furrow is regulated in the swing-plough. 
(8) The Coulter (R) or knife which is fixed to the beam and which 
gives the perpendicular cut to a furrow-slice, slants slightly 
forwards. It can be easily removed like the share for sharpening 
or relaying or replacing. For stony soils, coulters like shares are 
made of wrought-iron or steel, but they are ordinarily made of 
hard cast-iron (chilled iron). The coulter-blade is two and a half feet 
to three feet wide, and fixed at an angle of 65 to the share in wet 
weather, but at a smaller angle and more forward in the dry weather. 
Using the plough on fallow ground the coulter should point a little 
behind the point of the share. The coulter has usually a hole in 
it from which suspends a chain and a small iron ball which presses 
down long grass or dung as the furrow is turned, so that these may 
be better covered. A sharp revolving disc-coulter is used on grass- 
land or level lawns where there are no stones. (9) The Stilts (SS) 
terminating in wooden handles to hold by with both hands. (10) 
The Mould-board (M) is joined on to the right of the body behind 
the shoulder of the share and it is so modelled, that it turns over 
the soil clean. The Mould-board is kept smooth and clean, and 
not loaded with earth, which would give obstruction in working, 
and thus add to the draught. (11) The Cheek-plate is just below 
the land-side of the body, i.e., opposite the Mould-board, and it 
slides against the unploughed land. In the figure this part of the 
plough is not visible. The weight of a swing-plough is three to 
three and a half maunds and it costs in England from two to three 
pounds sterling, 

The Wheel-plough resembles the swing-plough, but it has two 
wheels (W & W) attached to the beam (B) by means of two sliding 
bars or uprights coming down from the beam. One of the wheels 
(W), called the furrow-wheel, marches along the bottom of the 
furrow and the other (the smaller one), called the land- wheel (W), 
along the unploughed land to keep the plough in position, the 
lower end of the larger wheel should be adjusted at the same level 
with the sole. If one wants to make the furrow an inch deeper 

M, HA 7 



98 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

than one has been getting, one raises the land-wheel (i.e., the small 
wheel) an inch, and if one wants to make the furrow an inch 
shallower he sinks the small wheel an inch down. In the case of 
the swing- plough the experienced ploughman adjusts the depth 
by raising or lowering the bridle. The beam in the case of the 
wheel-plough is a little curved towards the furrow side, and the 
line ot draught is a little higher than in the case of the swing-plough 
as the depth is automatically adjusted by the difference "between 
the diameters of the two wheels. There is usually a second coulter 
called the skim-coulter in front of the ordinary coulter which 
skims dung, etc., and spreads them out. The wheel-plough, though 
heavier in weight and costlier, is lighter in draught and it is easier 
for the man also to work it. Shallow ploughing can be done more 
easily with the wheel-plough, which regulates depths to a nicety, 
than with the swing-plough. The swing-plough requires to be 
handled by expert ploughmen. But there is waste of time in 
adjusting the depth in the case of the wheel-plough. In the hands 
of a good ploughman the swing-plough works at different depths 
with sufficient evenness for all practical purposes. Then the wheels 
get clogged in wet weather ; and for steep and rough (i.e., stony) 
soils, the wheel-plough is unsuitable. The cost of a wheel-plough is 
also prohibitive for our cultivators, though where the land is suit- 
able and where the workman are not clever, the wheel-plough 
comes cheap in the long run. Besides, the wheels with the axle- 
bars and uprights may be taken off and the plough used as an 
ordinary swing-plough. A swing-plough of very much simpler 
construction but containing all the essential parts, i.e., the share, 
mould-board, coulter and an adjustable bridle, ought to be intro- 
duced into this country. The advantage of the wheel-plough over 
the swing-plough in traction is ten to fifteen per cent. In the swing- 
plough the share and the coulter absorb forty- four per cent, of 
the friction or resistance, the sole, fifteen per cent., the cheek- 
plate, thirty-five per cent., and the mould-board, six per cent. The 
directions of resistance are in three planes : (1) the perpendicular 
resistance which passes through the plough nearer the land than 
the furrow side ; (2) the horizontal resistance which is along the 
sole-plate ; and (3) the curved resistance which follows the course 
of the outer surface of the mould-board. 

Draught. The weight of the plough in the case of European 
and American ploughs contributes from thirty-four to fifty per 
cent, of its draught. The shape of the mould-board also affects 
the draught considerably, but the depth and width of the furrow 
and the nature of the soil chiefly influence the draught. A long 
and gradually curved mould-board offers the least resistance, a 
po^nt which is generally overlooked in the construction of im- 
proved ploughs for India. Dry clay-soil offers very strong resist- 
ance, if the mould-board is not of the right sha$e. The draught of 
ploughs, harrows and other implements is measured by the dynamo- 



PLOUGHS AND PLOUGHING. 



99 



meter which is only a spring-balance of a special construction. 
The draught of Madras ploughs has been found to vary from 280 
to 390 Ibs. Some experiments conducted at the Cawnpore Farm 
showed that draught of ploughs for up-country bullocks should 
not exceed 126 Ibs. Madras bullocks are very much superior 
to up-country bullocks, and these latter are somewhat better than 
Bengal bullocks. The draught of a plough in Bengal should not 
exceed 100 Ibs. The draught on fallow-land is considerably higher 




FIG. A. 18. YOKE 

WITH BREAST HE AM ANT) 

C'ROSS-PIKCES. 




FIG. 19. SWINGLE FOR ONE 

ANIMAL. 





FIG. *20. SWINGLE FOR 
TWO ANIMALS. 



FIG. 21. SWINGLE FOR 
THREE ANIMALS. 





FIG. 22. SWINGLE 
FOR FOUR ANIMALS. 



FIG. 23. SWINGLE FOR 
THREE ANIMALS. 
(Another pattern.) 



than that on tilth, and it is therefore easy with a country or an 
improved plough to plough half an acre a day when ploughing for 
the second or third time, though it is difficult to do one-third of 
an acre at the first ploughing. With a wheel- or swing-plough and 
even with South Indian ploughs as much as one acre can be 
ploughed per diem. With an ordinary pair of Bengal bullocks 
and with a light draught of 100 Ibs., eight hours' work can be got 
out of the bullocks. If the draught is 200 Ibs., one pair of bullocks 
should work for four hours, or two pairs for eight hours. 

As the draught for ploughs used in Bengal should not exceed 
100 Ibs., and as the dead-weight of a plough properly constructed 
should account for only 34 to 50 per cent., or say about 40 per cent. 



100 



HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 



of the draught, the ordinary swing-ploughs or wheel-ploughs, 
which are over 300 Ibs. in weight, are clearly unsuitable for use in 
Bengal, though a strong pair of bullocks can work the plough for a 
few days or only for a few hours at a show-yard, to apparent satisfac- 
tion. But by adding to the number of animals or giving them work 
for a shorter time, implements with heavy draught can be used. 

Swingles and Yokes. A 
plough or any other culti- 
vating implement is attach- 
ed in European countries to 
horses or bullocks by means 
of a swingle or whipple- 
tree or trees, and ropes or 
chains. The yoke to which 
the further ends of the 
chains or ropes are attached 
may be only a single piece 
of wood going across the 
necks of the animals, or the 
traction at the hump may 
be lightened by having an- 
ether piece of wood for the 
chest with cross-pieces to 
keep the two in position. 
The chain or rope to which 
the whipple-tree is attach- 
called the draught- 
rope. The yokes are made 
of wood of the aerial roots 
of bar-tree or other light 
and strong wood having 
curved notches for the 
necks of the animals. Yokes 
furnished with breast-beams 
(Fig. 18) are used in some 
provinces. These distribute* 
the resistance to a greater 
surface and thus lessen the 
occurrence of yoke-galls. 
The Bengal method of 
yoking on two sides of a long pole rigidly attached to the 
plough has the advantage of simplicity and cheapness. It does 
away with the necessity of reins also, bullocks being guided by 
a touch or twist of the tail with one hand, while the single 
stilt is held by the ploughman by the other. The improved 
ploughs recognise the advantage of this simplicity and cheapness. 
Figs. 19, 20, 21 and 22 illustrate the method of attachment 
of one, two, three and four animals respectively to an implement. 
Fig. 23 illustrates another method of attaching three animals. 




"JV. ed 



FIG. 21 MULTIPLE-PLOUGH. 



PLOUGHS AND PLOUGHING. 



101 



Multiple-ploughs. Two furrows are turned simultaneously 
Avith a tAvo-furroAV plough instead of one. The draught is therefore 
much greater, and three horses are required to drive this plough. 
Having a Avider bottom it does as even and steady work on level 
soils free from stones as the wheel-plough. There are no side- 
plates or sole in this plough, and it does not therefore form pans. 
For preparing seed-bed on ploughed land, two horses can easily 
manage this plough. It 
does twice as much Avork 
as the wheel or sAving- 
plough. The three- furroAV 
plough turns three furroAv- 
slices at the same time, 
each nine inches wide, and 
it can plough three or four 
acres of land per day if 
the soil is light. Having a 
wide bottom, the draught 
is very heavy, and four 
horses are required for 
dra\viug it. The price of 
the double-furrow plough 
is 7 to 10, and of a 
three-furrow plough as 
much as 12, or eA'en 
more. These ploughs are 
altogether unsuitable for 
most Indian needs. 

While referring to mul- 
tiple-ploughs, however, 
may be mentioned the ||| 
.seedifl.y plough of Messrs. 
Hornsby & Sons, Grant- 
ham (England). This 
implement can be used 
either Avith or without the 
seed-box. Without the 
seed-box (Fig. 24) it may 
be used for simple plough- 
ing (three or four inches 
deep only), or for covering 
the seed after it has been broadcasted. It can be regulated to 
any depth up to four inches and in Avidth to six and a half inches 
for each furrow. It is well within the power of a pair of light 
horses to do the work, as it is carried on three Avheels. Best chilled 
iron is used for the shares, and all the wearing parts are easily re- ' 
neAvable. Equipped with the seed-box (Fig. 25), it SOAVS the seed 
directly into the furrow efficiently, covering it at the same time. 
The quantity of seed sown per acre is controlled to a nicety by the 




FIG. 25 SEEDING PLOUGH. 



102 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

simple movement of an indicating lever. The four-furrow improved 
seeding plough with seed-box and conductors complete is priced 
at 7. This plough used, not for the first ploughing but for 
subsequent operations, and specially for sowing, may have a very 
important future before it, if capitalists go in more largely for 
agriculture in this country. 

The paring plough. The paring plough is an ordinary wheel- 
plough fitted with a share twelve inches broad. It is used for 
doing very shallow Avork, and the wheels, are adjusted so as to 
turn up slices one or two inches deep. The Deccan Bakhar (Fig. 
26) can be used as a paring plough, either for stifle-burning sods 
or preparing a seed-bed on ploughed-up land which is fairly dry. 
The Bakhar does not work in wet clay-land for preparing a seed- 
bed. For ploughing wet fallow-land two or three inches deep 
for destroying weeds, and for preparing a fine tilth en fairly dry 
soil, the Bakhar is an invaluable, though inexpensive, implement. 
The knife of the Bakhar is made about two feet long, and with a 
pair of strong bullocks one can prepare two to three acres of land for 
tilth, and at the same time destroy the weeds. 

The subsoil-plough is like an ordinary single-furrow plough, but 
of stronger construction, having a deep body and a large mould- 
board. It is used behind an ordinary swing- or wheel-plough 
along the same furrow, and it turns up the subsoil. It may often 
be of advantage in deep soils in some of the drier Indian tracts. 

The subsoil-stirrer or sub-soiler (Fig. 5) moves the subsoil 

without turning it up. This is also used behind an ordinary plough. 

It has no mould-board and it can hardly be called a plough. It 

moves the soil twelve to eighteen 
inches deep. A subsoil-stirrer is 
sometimes attached to a strong 
wheel-plough on the right side and 
in a line with the point of the share. 
It passes along the bottom of the 

"FIG. 26. -THE BAKHAR. furrow raised and moves it. A 

subsoil plough on wheels adapted 

for light soils costs from 7 to ll according as it is required 

for light or very heavy soils. 

The ridging or double-mould-board plough (Fig. 2) is made like 
a swing or a wheel-plough. It has a mould-board on either side,. 
but no coulter. ^ The mould-boards are shorter and nearly flat. 
It is used for making ridges and splitting them, also for splitting 
drills for sowing turnips, potatoes, etc. A marker is hinged on 
to the beam of the ridging plough. It marks on the ground the 
line where the next ridge is to be. The marker is held in position 
by a chain. By another chain behind, the ploughman can turn 
the marker on either side of the plough. The cost is 4 and 1 
extra for wheels. It has been already shown how a native plough* 
can be used as a ridging plough. 




PLOUGHS AND PLOUGHING. 103 

The pulverising plough breaks up but does not turnover furrows. 
The Indian plough and the sub-soiler may be regarded as pulveris- 
ing ploughs, and the improved ploughs as simple swing-ploughs. 

The one-way plough. With an ordinary plough ploughing 
cannot be done line after line in succession, as the slices are turned 
one-way during the forward march and in the opposite way during 
the return march. The whole of the land cannot in this way 
be both ploughed and turned over. With the one-way ploughs, 
of which one form is called the turn-wrest or turn-wrist plough, 
and another the balance plough, furrow-slices are all laid side by 
side one against another in the same direction avoiding open 
unploughed furrows and ridges covered by furrow-slices. There 
are two sets of mould-boards and shares in the balance-plough. 
When one set is at work on one side, the other set is kept raised on 
the other side. At the end of the field the position is reversed, 
the set which was kept raised being now brought into action, and 
the plough is turned in the ordinary way as a carriage is turned. 
Tn the turn-wrest plough there is only one set of share and mould- 
board which are reversible round a hinge, while in the balance- 
plough there are two sets. In ploughing hill-sides the ordinary 
system of ploughing round and round a field is unsafe, as the bul- 
locks are liable to go down a precipice or get choked with the ropes 
with which they are attached to the yoke. It is safer in hill-side 
ploughing to take line after line in the lateral direction only. If 
cross-ploughing is done at all, the bullocks should not be made to 
plough up-hill, but simply walked up, and the down-hill plough- 
ing, if no terraces have been made, should be done with the 
greatest care. Turn-wrest ploughs have now been extensively 
introduced into India, and 5re used in large numbers on the 
Deccan and in Gujarat. The most popular is one made by 
Messrs. Ransome, Sirns and JefCeries, of Ipswich, which is named 
by them " C. T. 2 " and costs Rs. 40 in Bombay. This is suit- 
able for the heavy soils of the Deccan. Local manufacture of 
a very similar plough has been undertaken, and Messrs. Kirlos- 
kar Bros, of Kundal Road, Satara District, in the Bombay 
Presidency, are doing a very extensive trade in the plough they 
make. In the tracts named, the turn-wrest plough is no longer 
an experiment, and is rapidly displacing the country plough. 

The sulky plough is used in American prairies. The plough- 
man sits and drives and covers five acres a day, two furrows three 
or four inches deep are turned over at the same time. It is driven 
on light, but strong, wheels almost as fast as a carriage is driven. 
For perfectly level prairie land it is a very useful kind of plough. 

The potato-digging plough is fashioned like an ordinary plough ; 
but it has two shares, one behind the other, both elevated posteri- 
orly and divided or forked. The shares are driven in underneath 
the ridges to turn out potatoes. The Potato-digger by Story & Son 
of Jedburgh, Howard, and other makers, is not exactly a plough. 
It consists of a strong framework run on four wheels, the two front 



104 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

ones being smaller than the hind ones. Abroad sharp share passes 
underneath and lifts the potato-ridges, while a set of 8 revolving 
forks working at right-angles to the ridges above the share is worked 
by the hind wheels. This is put on or off gearing at will. It throws 
as the digger advances all the earth and potatoes from ridges on 
land that has been cleared against a screen which keeps them from 
spreading far and wide. This bruises the potatoes to a certain 
extent, but when a canvas screen is used hardly any loss occurs. 
Potatoes are gathered carefully each time, else they get covered up. 
When potatoes do get covered up, they can be harrowed up again, 
but constant knocking about, especially with harrows, reduces the 
value of potatoes and makes them liable to putrefaction. On light 
land two horses can work the potato-digger, but on heavy soil 
three are required. Four acres can be dug out in a day. The cost 
of a potato-digger is 12 to 13. On heavy or wet soil it does not 
work satisfactorily. The work done by a potato-digger leaves the 
soil beautifully fine and mellow and free from weeds. The remains 
of the weeds and potato-haulms can be easily raked off and the land 
used immediately afterwards for growing sugarcane, maize, jowar, 
ground-nut or arahar. The potato-digger can be used also for dig- 
ging out ground-nuts and yams of different kinds. The implement 
is unsuitable for the Indian raiyat. but a capitalist going in for 
growing potatoes or ground-nuts on a large scale will find a great 
saving on the cost of hand-picking. Four strong bullocks must, of 
course, be employed attached to a proper swingle. The Hunter-hoe 
has been employed with advantage for lifting potatoes at Sibpur. 

Steam-ploughs have been found unsuitable for most 
Indian surroundings. They have been tried by Mr. Archie Hills, 
of Patkabari (Dt. Murshidabad), and by Mr. Armstrong, of Dehra 
Dun, and others. Skilled supervision and the first outlay cost 
more in India than in England, and the advantage of the steam- 
plough over the horse-plough even in England is only as 10 : 9. 
Where Englishmen have taken to farming on a large scale, e.g., 
in the Fiji Islands, and where labour is dear and labourers scarce, 
steam-ploughs are found of great use. At the first ploughing, the 
furrows are made twelve inches deep ; at the second ploughing 
fifteen inches, and at the third ploughing eighteen inches, and thus 
the ground is disintegrated in a far more thorough manner than i>s 
possible with any other plough. In some parts of India where the 
land is badly infested with deep rooting grasses, which cannot be 
ploughed out by the ordinary plough, it is more than probable that 
the steam-plough* will be found of very considerable value. 

If one were asked to judge a competition in ploughing, one 
should mark the following points : 

(1) Whether the furrow-slices are clean-cut on the land-side 
an*d the bottom. 

(2) Whether they are laid regularly and compactly one against 
another at an angle of 45. * 

(3) Whether grass, stubbles and weeds are turned in and covered . 



PLOUGHS AND PLOUGHING. 



105 



(4) Whether the upper edges of the furrow-slices are on a 
level, so that an even seed-bed may be formed by harrowing. 

(5) Whether furrows are straight and finished regularly at 
the ends. A 

(6) Whether the last furrow-slice is properly turned out and 
about the size of the rest. 

(7) Whether the depth has been regulated according to the 
nature of the soil and the crop to be grown and for the time of the 
year, four inches to nine inches being the limit for this country. 

(8) Whether the proportion between depth and width of the 
furrow-slices turned over is as 7 : 10. 

To understand the English system of ploughing, it is necessary 
to comprehend a number of technical terms. These are (1) Crown, 
(2) Open-furrow. (3) Gathering, (4) Splitting, and (5) Peering. 

(1) The ' Crown ' is the highest line of the ridge, running up 
the middle of one unit of a field" under tilth, all the furrow-slices 
sloping up towards it. 

(2) The ' Open-furrow ' is the depression between two ridges, 
the furrow-slices slanting away from this. 

(3) ' Gathering ' is the name given to the system of ploughing 
in which the horses always turn towards the crown. When plough- 
ing round and round by * gathering ? goes on in a field for some 
years, the field begins to'have a wavy appearance, the hollows being 
* open-furrows ' and the elevated portions, ' crowns.' 

(4) ' Scattering,' ' Splitting ' or ' Scaring ' is the name given 
to the system of ploughing in which the hoises always turn away 
from the crown. 

(5) ' Peering ' is the marking out of land for the first time 
into sections, or units of tilth, by means of ' feering poles,' indicat- 
ing where the future ' crowns ' are to be. The width is fixed upon 
by the foreman or the first ploughman, a width of either 33 ft. or 
66ft. being chosen. Narrow width (ICJft. or 33ft.), involving close 
ridges, is best suited for stiff clay-lands inclined to be wet and which 
-are benefited by surface-drainage. A feering-pole is 8| ft., that 
is to say, half a perch in length. Four or more feering-poles 
are used when a field is brought under plough for the first time or 
where no ridges and open-furrows are observable for some reason 
(e.g., after harvesting a green crop) ; or where the old ridges are not 
to be kept up. In very old fields which have been long under the 
plough, lines of the old * open-furrows ' are followed, to replace them 
by * crowns.' * gathering ' being done round and round the ' open- 
furrows ' instead of the crowns. This serves to keep the crowns 
<iown as low as possible. The two first slices are also cut thinner 
than the rest to keep down the crown. 

Method of ploughing It is along the future crown that the 
feering-poles are spt up. The line along the poles is first ploughed 
up to get all the land moved, the first one way and then in reverse 
-way, so that a double furrow is left at the crown and the two slices 



106 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

turned, one, one way, and the other, the other way. In setting up 
the feering-poles, half the distance desirable between two ridges 
is measured from the end of the field, and the feering-poles set along 
this distance. The line along the poles is ploughed as described, 
and then the poles removed to the full distance between two ridges. 
This line along the poles where they are removed, is also marked out 
by the plough as above, and the poles removed to the full distance 
between the ridges again, and the operation repeated until the whole 
field has been marked out. The ploughing is done round and round 
these lines by gathering. The horses turn at the headlands, which 
should be fairly broad, that no difficulty may be experienced by 
horses in turning at the ends of the fields. If headlands are left 
on all sides, these may be ploughed up afterwards by driving the 
plough round and round the field away from the fences and not 
towards them. When feering-poles are set up at the full width 
between ridges to start with, ploughing is done by splitting. With 
an 8| ft. staff, 66 ft. or 33 ft. may be easily measured, and an acre 
being 660 ft. X66 ft., these widths are convenient for making 
mental calculations as to area. Light soil should not be made 
too wavy by ploughing. Sections of 132 ft. may be taken for 
each gathering on such soil, 

Principle of calculation. A man ploughing an acre and turn- 
ing over furrow-slices only an inch wide, would turn over 99 miles 
of furrow-slices (i.e., 6 ??2L?*^i!). If he ploughed 12 inches wide 

he would cover one-twelfth this distance, i.e.., 8*25 miles. 
If he ploughed up slices six inches wide he would cover 16J miles 
in a day if he succeeded in doing one acre. With an ordinary coun- 
try plough, or with an improved plough the utmost width obtained 
is six inches. A third of an acre, which involves a walk of over 
five miles while working, may be considered a good day's work for 
a ploughman and bullocks, at least for the first ploughing. At- 
tempt should be made to get the ploughman to do at least five or 
six miles of walk per day while ploughing. To get the number of 
miles walked in ploughing an acre, it is only necessary to divide 
99 by the breadth of the furrow (in inches) turned out by a particu- 
lar plough. With ploughs of different widths of share turning out 
different widths of furrow-slires, the ploughman should show 
different quantities of work. 

Expert opinions. With regard to the possible improvement 
that may be introduced into the ordinary system of ploughing, etc., 
in India, the following remarks of Dr. J. A. Voelcker, recorded in his 
report on the improvement of Indian agriculture, are worth noting : 

" I cannot help suspecting that the system of shallow plough- 
ing, as practised by the native, and his aversion to ploughs that 
turn over a broad slice and form a wide furrow, may have some- 
thing to do with this matter of the retention of moisture, and 
that the effect of deep ploughing would too jgenerally be to lose 
the very moisture the cultivator so treasures." (P. 43). 



PLOUGHS AND PLOUGHING. 



107 



" After seeing for myself what is used, and what have been sug- 
gested for use, I am obliged to conclude that there is not much scope 
for improved implements under existing conditions." (P. 217). 

" Even if a thing be good in itself, patience, perseverance and 
energy are required to make the native comprehend its advantages, 
but when once he is thoroughly convinced of its utility he will not 
be slow to follow it tip. It took several years of waiting before the 
Beheea sugar-mill began to make its way, but when once it was 
introduced into a district the demand for it often exceeded the sup- 
ply." (P. 217). 

With regard to the relative merits of Watt's plough and the 
country plough, Dr. Leather says : " At Cawnpore an improved 
plough having an iron share, and ploughing five inches deep; has 
been tested against the country plough since 1881. Six years' 
experiments, during four of which they were made in duplicate, 
showed, with one exception, a distinct increase in the cotton crop ; 
and eight years' experiments, of which seven years' were in dupli- 
cate, and in which wheat was the crop, showed, with one exception, 
an increase apparently due to the improved ploughs. Leaving out 
of consideration the actual increase obtained which varied consider- 
ably, it must be remarked that assuming no effect on the crop 
there is still a saving of half the labour. The improved plough is 
drawn perfectly well even by a small pair of bullocks, and the 
number of ploughings necessary is reduced to half." 

With regard to the relative merits of the country plough and 
the Sibpur plough, the following remarks of Mr. B. C. Basu, regard- 
ing the experiments conducted at the Dumraon Farm, deserve 
attention : 

" To compare the soil-inverting, with the country plough, 
two plots, each 800 square yards (a little over five local cottahs), 
were ploughed up and both cropped with wheat, and treated ex- 
actly alike in all other respects. The cost of cultivation was the 
same in both plots. The increase in outturn obtained by means of 
the inverting plough over the outturn obtained with the country 
plough is shown below : 





GRAIN PER ACRE. 


STRAW PER ACRE. 


YFAR 








Increase. 


Decrease. 


Increase. 


Decrease. 




Mds. Srs. 






Mds. Srs. 


Aids 


Srs/ 


885-86 






2 16 






3 21 






886-87 






1 14 






I 8 






887-88 






1 35 











14 


888-89 






1 4 






1 35 






889-90 






2 4 






4 16 






890-91 






30 






19 






Average . . 


1 24 




2 10 


B 






) 





108 



HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 



" The effect of soil inversion was equally conspicuous on 
paddy. The trial with this crop was carried out exactly in the 
.same way as with wheat. The results are shown in the following 
statement : 



Year. 


Increase of grain 


per 


Increase of 


straw per 




acre. 




acre 







Mds. 


Srs. 


Mds. 


Srs. 


1886 


1 


6 


9 


16 


1887 





35 


2 


38 


1888 


1 


8 


2 


8 


1889 


3 


1 


6 


2 


1890 





24 


3 


20 


Average 


1 


15 


4 


33 



The following remarks of Mr. J. Mollison, taken from Vol. I, 
p. 135 of his Textbook on Indian Agriculture, are also worth 
serious consideration : " To those who are sceptical I can show in 
parts of the Bombay Presidency cultivation by means of indigen- 
ous tillage implements only, which in respect of neatness, thorough- 
ness and profitableness cannot be excelled by the best gardeners 
or the best farmers in any other part of the world. This statement 
I deliberately make, and I am quite prepared to substantiate it." 



CHAPTER XIII. 

OTHER CULTIVATION APPLIANCES. 

[The Grubber or Cultivator (the Madras Grubber) ; the Harrow, the Hand Rake ; 
Seed drills ; Nari-nagar with Surtha ; Hoes ; Bullock-hoes ; Hand Weeclers ; 
Scythes ; Threshers ; Winnowers ; Hauser's Grain cleaner.] 

THE GRUBBER. The ordinary cultivator or grubber is a simple 
enough instrument for Indian use. A five-tined grubber with duck- 
foot coulters, mounted on two wheels can be easily worked by two 
bullocks on land already ploughed and reploughed, once one way 
and the second time across. The advantage of using the grubber 

consists in the fact, that it 
stirs the soil to a varying 
depth of five to nine inches 
uprooting and dragging weeds 
and coarse grasses before it. 
It stirs the soil deep without 
turning it up. The practice 
of smashing up land by culti- 
vators instead of systematically ploughing it, has greatly increased 
in England of late years, and we can take the hint in this 
country. The grubber used in the Sibpur*Farm (Fig. 27) can 
be easily made in country places in India, and the cost need 




FIG. 27 THE GRUBBER. 



OTHER CULTIVATION APPLIANCES. 



109 




FIG. '28. THE HARROW. 



not exceed Rs. 20. The price of the ' Madras Grubber ' is only 
Rs. 17. For early preparation of land for rabi crops, for which 
quick, and at the same time deep, cultivation is desirable, the 
grubber is an invaluable implement. It forms no pans. Grub- 
bing should not be done in the kharif season, when opening up 
the soil too much results in too much loss of fertility by hashing. 

The Hairow, These are either rectangular (Fig. 28) or cylin- 
drical. The frame of the rectangular harrow is several feet wide 
and long. It is usually divided into two or three sections carrying 
equidistant teeth, usually eight to ten inches long, which serve 
to break the surface clods after the plough or grubber has been used 
in order to bring up clods to the surface to be afterwards smashed 
up by the roller, and to detach 
weeds from land which has been 
stirred. It is also used after the 
seed has been sown to cover it. 
Chain-harrows, constructed as a 
coarse coat of mail, are composed 
of plain, circular, or polyhedral 
rings, toothed rings and tripods, 
the latter connected by rings or links, the teeth being longer on one 
side than on the other, so that either surface of the harrows can be 
used as the nature of the land or meadow requires. They are ser- 
viceable for light action, as when seeds require to be lightly covered 
or when manures required to be spread on grass land. The ladder, 
or beam, or levelling board, used in this country takes the place of 
harrow, but the latter is a far more efficient implement, especially 
for uprooting weeds, and the lighter kinds can be used with bullocks. 
Heavy circular harrows, such as the cross-kill roller or clod-crusher 
are unsuitable for this country on account of their cost and heavi- 
ness except in preparing the land on 
very hard soils like those of the Deccan 
for very valuable crops like sugarcane ; 
but as even a chain-harrow would 
cost Rs. 40, the question of replacing 
our beams, ladders and bidias by 
harrows may be dismissed for the 
present. Iron-toothed harrow called 
bidias are in common use in India 
cumstances it is hard to replace these. 

may be used like bidias. A 15-teeth garden rake would cost" only 
about Rs. 3. 

Rollers are useful for obtaining a level and compact seed-bed 
in which moisture is better retained. But they are too unwieldy 
and expensive for Indian use. Levelling boards and beams 
are in common use, especially in South India, and they answer 
the purpose fairly well. But a light wooden roller would be 
preferable. 




FIG. 29.-HAND RAKE. 

and under existing cir- 
Steel hand-rakes (Fig. 29) 



110 



HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 




FIG. 30- MADRAS SIX-TINED 
SEED DRILL. 



Seed-Drill. When the soil has been piepared by ploughing 
(arid cultivating or grubbing in the rabi season), harrowing and 
levelling, it is ready for sowing. Sowing is done either by scatter- 
ing the seed broadcast, or by drilling, or bv dibbling. By dibbling 
the greatest economy of seed is effected, but it is a slow process, 
.and if the seed is not perfect and germination is partial, too many 

blanks may be left. Dibbling is 
sometimes done when large-sized 
seeds, such as amhar, maize and 
cotton, of reliable germinating 
Duality, are sown, two in each hole. 
Smaller seeds should be either 
broadcasted or drilled. Broad- 
casting in experienced hands does 
not involve much waste of seed, 
nor irregular sowing, and it is the 
cheapest way of sowing. But 
drilling is the most desirable sys- 
tem, as it does not require an ex- 
pert hand, and as its application 
enables one to employ afterwards 
the bullock-hoe and hand-wheel- 
hoe, saving cost of weeding, and enabling one to keep the land 
stirred and aerified. The English and American seed-drills with 
eight or twelve times would be too expensive^as the arrangements 
of these drills are too elaborate. The Madras three- tined and six- 
tined (Fig, 30) Seed-drills and the Surtha or Tari, a seed-drilling 

bamboo cylinder with a 
funnel-shaped hopper at the 
top, fixed to a hole in the 
body of the plough, called 
Nari-Nagar in the Central 
Provinces, are adapted for 
the existing stage of Indian 
agriculture. When seeds for 
a mixed crop, such as arahar 
and cotton or jowar and 
arahar, or maize and cotton, 
are drilled, the hopper of a 
three or six-tined seed-drill 
with one hole stopped is fed 
by one person, while a 
Surtha dragged behind is 

fed by another person. Not being provided with wheels the 
Native seed-drills require experienced plough-bullocks and plough- 
men to work them, and it requires long patience to introduce 
them successfully in a new locality. On the whole, perhaps, the 
one-furrow garden drills of American make (fig. 31) have the best 
prospect of success in India. 




FIG. 31. HENDERSON CORN PLANTER 
AND FERTILIZER DISTRIBUTOR. 



OTHER CULTIVATION APPLIANCES. 



Ill 



Some of these hand-drills are fitted with two boxes, one for 
holding >seed and the other for some concentrated fertilizer, such as 
super or sulphate of ammonia, etc. Fig. 31 illustrates the Hender- 
*on Corn Planter and Fertilizer Distributor. One can sow with 
this three acres of land per day. dropping the seeds at any distance 
apart and sowing at the same time, if needed, any kind of pulver- 
ized fertilizer. Each machine is furnished with four dropping rins 
and pinions to regulate the number of seeds and distance apart of 
sowing. Extra rings are also 
supplied for sowing peas, 
beans and other special 
sized seeds. The price with 
the fertilizer box is eighteen 
dollars, each extra ring 
costing twenty-live cents. 
Without the fertilizer box, 
the price of the Henderson 
Corn Planter is only four- 
teen dollars in New York. 
Planet Jr. Seeder No. 5 
(price twelve dollars) is also 
recommended. 

Hoes. When seed has been sown and the young plants have 
come up, one hand-weeding with khurpies is necessary for most 
crops. Afterwards the soil between the rows of plants should be 
kept stirred and clean as often as convenient, say once a fortnight 
or once a month, according to circumstances, until the plants are 
about eighteen inches high. Two 
or three hoeings give the crop a 
start and the land is 




FIG. 32. AMERICAN HAND-HOE. 



verv 




FIG. 33. MADRAS BULLOCK-HOE. 



also left clean . With an American 

wheeled hand-hoe (Fig. 32), one 

can easily work one-third of an 

acre a day. With a bullock-hoe 

(Fig. 33) 3 however, one acre a day 

can be done. The use of the 

hand-hoe or bullock-hoe pre-sup- 

poses the use of a seed-drill. The 

Planet Jr. hoe (Fig. 32) may be used as a seed-drilled, or hilling 

plough, or rake, by substituting one working part by another! 

The various working parts that can be substituted for the hoe 

are shown in Fig. 32. A hand-hoe of the American pattern can 

be constructed for less than Rs. 10. The essential parts are : (1) 

four curved tines screwed on to (2), which is a bar with a slit in 

the middle, along which the tines can be arranged close 

together, or somewhat apart from one another, according 

to the width of the drill, (3) a wheel going in front of the 

tines which serves as a guide, and (4) a double handle for the 

labourer to push the implement with. If instead of four tines onlv 



112 



HANDBOOK OP AGRICULTURE. 




FIG. 34. THE C P. DUNDIA. 



one tine is used, or two tines at the two extremities of the slit, the 
furrow, or the two furrows made by the implement, may be sown 
with seed by a man walking behind who can cover up the furrows 
with his feet as he walks along. Planet Jr. hoe with two wheels 
has an arched bar instead of a simple straight bar with a slit. This 
goes over the young plants, while the tines on the two sides open up 
the soil. This is a more costly implement than the single wheel- 
hoe. 

The Madras or Central Provinces bullock-hoes cost only 
Rs. 5 or Rs. 6. They requre trained bullocks to work these hoes 
straight. There is always a little damage done by the feet of cat- 
tle. The cattle must, of course, be muzzled. The use of the 

hand-hoe is accompanied by no loss if the 
rows and lines are regular. Where the 
distance between the rows of plants is 
sufficiently great a Dundia (Fig.34)which 
is a Central Provinces bullock-hoe with a 
single knife may be used. But the com- 
bined hoe and rake (Fig. 35) which is 
used in the vineyards of France is a 
more effective instrument for this purpose. For hand-weeding, 
besides ordinary khurpies and niranies, certain special forms of 
weeders (Fig. 36) called Eureka Weeder, Hazeltine Weeder and 
Excelsior Weeder have been found very useful. 

Mowers and reapers are unsuitable for many kinds of Indian 
farming. The machines are too heavy and expensive and the fields 

in India are often too 
small. Labour being 
cheap, the harvesting 
sickle must hold its own 
in most places for a long 
time to come, as the cost 
of harvesting is com- 
paratively small. But 
there is no reason why 
our labourers should not 
be trained to use the 
scythe, which does far 
more work than the reaping hook (kachhi or kastia). 

Threshers.Steam-threshers are unsuitable for Indian hus- 
bandry. But hand-threshers could be introduced with success 
by middle-class men wishing to launch out in farming. Even 
flailing is a better mode of separating the grain from the straw 
than treading the corn out by bullocks. The bullocks voiding excre- 
ments on the straw and grain they tread upon, the system is de- 
cidedly objectionable. Instead of flails with wooden handles 
and leather thongs, flails could be improvised of green bamboos 
about 8 ft. long, 1J ft. of which can be left cylindrical for the handle 




FIG. 85. FRENCH COMBINED HOE AND RAKE. 



OTHER CULTIVATION APPLIANCES. 113 

and the rest made semi-cylindrical and cut into three strips. Only 
the ears of grains should be gathered and the heap of ears beaten 
with 3 or 4 flails by as many men and the heap stirred and formed 
again and again and beaten upon, until separation of grains from 
the ears is complete. Beating bunches of straw with grain on boards 
is another clean and simple method of threshing which is in vogu 
in some parts of this country. But with the flail work is executed 
faster and it can be applied to all sorts of crops, including pulses, 
for which the beating board is unsuitable. 

The European hand threshers that have been found useful 
are : (1) Mayfurth & Co.'s Hand Thresher, price Rs. 85, exclusive 
of freight, etc.,*which would come to another Rs. 50 ; (2) Ransome's 
Bullock-power Thresher ; and (3) Ruston Proctor & Co.'s Threshing 
Machine. The first is obtainable of Messrs. Mayfurth & Co. of 
Frankfort-on-Main, Germany, and it can be ordered through any 
local European firm who deal in agricultural machinery. It is 
used at the Nagpur Experimental Farm, where it is found to thresh 
three and a half maunds of grain per hour. It is kept working by 
five labourers. It is well made, strong, compact and simple in 
construction, consisting of a revolving 
drum on which are fixed strong iron 
spikes which pass in close proximity 
along a series of spikes fixed on a 
curved plate below which the drum 
revolves. The straw with grain is put 
in at the hopper or feeding board. The 
revolving drum sucks it in. The spikes 
or beaters detach the grain and the 
straw, and the grains fa/1 out at the 
bottom separated. The space between 
the spikes on the drum and the spikes 

on the surrounding plate is adjustable, KIU. SG.-HAND WEKDKRS. 
so that the machine can be used for 
separating large grains as well as small grains. It does excellent 
work for paddy, jowar, araJiar and similar grains, but it does not do 
so well with wheat, linseed and gram. Ransome's Bullock-power 
Thresher is also in use at the Nagpur Farm. It does better work and 
works much faster than Mayfurth's Hand Thresher, but it is an 
expensive machine. It is very well adapted for threshing wheat, 
linseed and gram, as well as paddy, jowar and arahar. This 
machine is obtainable of Messrs. Ransome, Sims & Jefferies, 
Ipswich, England. Ruston Proctor's Threshing Machine costs 
Rs. 160. It is worked by twelve persons, and it is said to execute 
the work very rapidly. It has been introduced into, and mostly 
used by the members of the Salvation Army at Ahmedabad. 

Wlitnowers._Dell's Winnower costs Rs. 265. It cleans the 
grain from the straw and chaff very rapidly. A winnower is made 
at the Cawnpore Farm which is sold for Rs. 60. It is said to work 

M, HA 8 




114 



HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 



as well as Dell's Winnower. The ordinary fan (sup or kula) helped 
by a good breeze is well adapted for the system of cottage husban- 
dry prevalent in India, especially if basketfuls of grain and chaff are 
gradually let fall from a height. A winnower adapted for separat- 
ing grain from chaff is sold by Messrs. Burn & Co. for Rs. 65. 
Mr. Hauser, an American gentleman, while staying in Calcutta, 
invented a winnower and grain-cleaner which is now sold by Messrs. 



^1' 



1l ' 11h 













FIG. 37. HATJSER'S \VINNOWER AND CHAIN -CLEANER. 

Burn & Co. for Rs. 250. After a crop has been trodden down by 
bullocks or otherwise threshed, it can be passed through this clean- 
er (after separating out by hand the long straw), and it will be found 
that not only the straw and chaff are blown away behind, but the 
grain of different sizes comes out at different spouts in front. Grains 
of a mixed crop, such as gram, linseed and wheat, come out at 
the different spouts quite separate (Fig. 37). 



CHAPTER XIV. 

THEORIES UNDERLYING THE QUESTION OF IRRIGATION. 



[Character of water used of great importance ; rain, well, canal, river, 
and sea-waters compared ; evaporation ; storage tank ; solids in solution ; 
endosmosed sap must be thinner than exosmosecl sap ; how quantity to be 
determined ; irrigation of paddy-fields ; duty in canal irrigation ; drainage ; 
depth of water.] 

The problem stated Before entering into a description of the 
various irrigation appliances, it is necessary to deal with certain 
theories connected with this subject. The question of irrigation 



THEORIES UNDERLYING IRRIGATION. 115 

is not only the most important, but also the most complicated of 
all questions connected with Indian agriculture. Experienced 
cultivators in certain localities are of opinion that well-water is 
injurious to crops. Where canal-irrigation has been in vogue for 
a long time, e.g., in parts of the United Provinces and the Punjab, 
cultivators are of opinion that well-irrigation is to be preferred to 
canal-irrigation. Again, generally speaking, rain-water has been 
found to do more good to crops than either canal or well-water, 
especially at the beginning of the rainy season. If well-water 
or canal-water, or tank-water under certain circumstances has the 
property of doing harm to crops, and if rain-water is more generally 
beneficial, then we must be cautious before venturing on any scheme 
of irrigation, lest it should afterwards prove to have been ini- 
tiated without due thought. A further complication arises from the 
different effects of irrigation on different crops. At Sibpur Farm, 
we have observed that the use of the canal-water benefits potatoes 
and cabbages, while it hurts country peas and beans, when owing 
to late sowing the latter crops had to be irrigated in December and 
January. Irrigation with this canal-water benefits all kinds of 
crops in May and June, while at the driest season from December 
to April, this canal- water injures leguminous crops and seedlings 
of all kinds. What is the explanation of all this ? It is only if we 
understand the theories underlying the question of water adapted 
for irrigation, that we can avoid mistakes in the use of irrigation- 
water, both as regards quantity and quality. 

' Rain-water. At the beginning of the rainy season rain-water 
contains in solution and suspension a large amount of foreign sub- 
stances which are all more or less helpful to agriculture. As the 
rainy season advances, the water becomes freer and freer from 
nitrates, ammonia, organic dust, etc. Hence the greater invigorat- 
ing effect on plants of the early showers of rain. Even in the latter 
part of the rainy season, one hundred cubic inches of rain would 
contain two or three cubic inches of atmospheric gases. Every 
hundred volumes of water are capable of holding in solution under 
normal conditions of temperature and pressure about one and a 
half volumes of nitrogen, about three volumes of oxygen, about 100 
volumes of carbon-dioxide and about 7,800 volumes of 
ammonia. The capacity of rain-water for holding large quantities 
of carbon-dioxide and ammonia in solution is of special 
importance for agriculture. We thus understand how rain-water 
should benefit the crops in more ways than one, and at the early 
part of the rainy season more than at a later season. 

Well and canal-water. But why should not spring, well, or canal- 
water do more good than rain-water ? The former contains more 
substances in solution than rain-water, not only more carbon- 
dioxide but also saline substances of various kinds, most of which 
are actually required for the growth of plants. The danger in 
using irrigation- water lies, not in the fact of the possibility of this 



116 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

water being too poor in soluble substances, but of its being too rich 
in such substances. Spring or well-water may look purer than 
river- water, but the latter may contain only about one part or less 
of solids in solution in every thousand parts, while the former may 
contain as much as two or three parts in a hundred. The water of 
a low and dirty pool may not look very clean, but it contains a 
high proportion of solids in solution. We have said before that 
plants can take up nourishment only in a very dilute solution, the 
dilution best adapted for nourishment of plants generally being one 
part of solid food in solution in more than a thousand parts of water. 
Five parts in one thousand may be taken as the extreme limit of 
endurance for plants, while two and a half to three parts of solids in 
solution in a thousand parts of water indicate the danger-point, i.e., 
the degree of solution at which the results of the use of water 
become uncertain, specially for leguminous crops and seedlings. 
The salts in solution may be one or more of the following : Sodium 
chloride, sodium sulphate, magnesium sulphate, calcium chloride, 
magnesium chloride, sodium bicarbonate, calcium carbonate, cal- 
cium sulphate, and some silicate, iron, and alumina compounds, 
also some nitrates and borates. Of these salts, the calcium carbon- 
ate, calcium sulphate, silicon, iron and alumina compounds do no 
harm when they are present in large proportions in irrigation-water 
as upon the evaporation of the water after it has been applied to 
the land, these compounds crystallize out and do not collect in the 
soil in a soluble form. The accumulation of the other salts in 
solution may go on until the proportion of soluble salts in the soil 
reaches the danger-point. Herein lies the danger of irrigating with 
well-water or water from low cesspools or canals, which contain a 
high proportion of undesirable solids in solution. There is another 
side of the question. Some soils contain a high proportion of these 
undesirable salts in a soluble state, and when to such soils water 
surcharged with the same salts is applied, the proportion readily 
reaches the danger-point. Soils containing a large excess of these 
salts are usar, i.e., altogether barren and unfit for cropping, but soils 
not containing such excess but only a high proportion, may be ren- 
dered war by injudicious irrigation. 

Evaporation The question 'of evaporation then comes in/ 
which is further complicated by the fact that evaporation is much 
slower from land under crop than from bare land, and is different 
at different seasons, and the whole question of evaporation is of 
minor importance when one takes into consideration the loss by 
surface flow and percolation in certain soils. But leaving all side 
issues out of consideration, and assuming that a tank 30ft. deep 
loses by evaporation 15ft. of water in course of the year, it would 
be obviously an advantage to have irrigation from such a deep tank 
than from one, say, 20ft. or 18ft. deep. Just as the 30ft. tank 
would lose by evaporation 15ft., so would the 20ft. or 18ft. tank. 
Now the remaining quantity of the water in 4 the tank would be 



THEORIES UNDERLYING IRRIGATION. 117 

more or less rich in solids, and the residual 5ft. or 3ft. of water 
is likely to be too rich in solids unless the water in the tank is rain- 
water and not water containing an excess of solids in solution to 
begin with. Here comes the danger of utilising water pumped 
up from a well or shallow pool of water and stored in a tank for 
future use for watering plants in the dry season. As evaporation 
goes on, the residual water becomes more and more concentrated 
in soluble salts, and the water used for irrigation afterwards may 
do more harm than good. If storage tanks are made at all for 
irrigation, and well or pool water stored in such tanks, they must 
be made as deep as possible, or evaporation should be prevented. 
But storing of water for agricultural purposes in high level masonry 
tanks, is not a practicable project, except for such purposes as irri- 
gation of seed-beds, etc. But it is in the watering of seedlings 
specially that the question of the proportion of solids in solution 
in the water assumes importance. 

Sap usually contains about four grammes of solid in solution 
to every litre. The water, therefore, in which the plant-food is 
dissolved should contain less than four grammes of soluble matter 
of any kind per litre, that absorption may go on with success. Ex- 
cessive manuring with soluble manures, results in plants getting 
dried and burnt up. If horse-dung and horse-urine, for instance, 
are heaped up round the base of a large mango or other tree, the 
tree will dry up and perish in a few months. 

Quantity. The proportion of moisture imbibed and transpired 
by a leguminous crop during the whole period of its growth has 
been determined by actual experiments to be about two hundred 
and eighty times the weight of the dry matter of the crop ; 
while in the case of cereals the proportion is about 1 : 320. But one 
crop differs from another, and even one variety of one crop differs 
from another variety (e.g., aus and aman paddies) very much in 
this respect. Roughly speaking 1 : 300 may be taken as the aver- 
age for crops during the cold weather (which is the result of Euro- 
pean experience) and 1 : 600 for the hot weather crops of this coun- 
try. But as hot weather crops can depend chiefly on rainfall, 
even in a bad year, the maximum requirement of crops of irriga- 
tion-water may be put down at 300 times the dry weight of the 
crop. Suppose an acre of wheat including straw weighs 3 tons, 
the dry weight of the crop is about 2J tons. The maximum 
requirement of irrigation-water for this crop is 2Jx 300=750 tons 
of water, or nearly 200,000 gallons. A don lifting 10,000 gallons 
of water per hour, or 80,000 gallons per day, is found in practice to 
be able to irrigate an acre of wheat in one day ; and two irrigations 
are found ample for the wheat crop even in the worst season. 
Thus the maximum quantity of irrigation-water required for this 
crop, as theoretically determined, agrees very nearly with what is 
actually allowed in practice. But there are extreme cases of 
peculiar habits of plants. Cicer arietinum (gram), Panicum muticum 



118 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

and some other crops are able to utilize very large quantities 
of moisture from the nocturnal dew, while most varieties of 
rice are benefited by an accumulation of water at their base con- 
tinuously for about seventy days. Probably plants covered with 
leaf-hairs are able to utilize the moisture from dew, hence the 
flourishing condition of gram and Panicum muticum in dry weather 
without irrigation. 

Value of canal-Irrigation. Canals and distributaries have been 
made leading from the Son, Rupnarayan, Banka and other rivers 
for watering the rice and other crops in the surrounding tracts. 
These are not only of the greatest benefit to the raiyats, bub 
they have actually proved remunerative to the State. The silt 
brought down by the Damodar and the Banka and distributed to 
fields by the Eden Canal has also proved one of the best fertilizers. 
The manurial value of the silt itself is found to be between Rs. 4 
and Rs. 5 per acre per annum ; so that even in years of abundant 
rainfall the raiyats find that it pays them to take water from the 
canal, specially in May and June, when the silt is richer in organic 
matter. In years of scanty rainfall the canal- water brings salva- 
tion to the crop. There is a tendency on the part of raiyats to take 
more water than is necessary for their rice crop. They want nine 
inches of water in their fields five times in the year for the rice crop, 
while experiments have proved that in ordinary years four and a 
half inches of water twice, and in dry years three times, are enough. 
The excessive distribution of water in the country has resulted 
in the canal-irrigated tracts, specially of Burdwan and Midnapur, 
having become very malarious. Even in bad years there is some 
rainfall, and the rainfall only requires to be supplemented by canal- 
irrigation. The excessive use of canal-water results also in fewer 
people being benefited than might be otherwise the case. A quan- 
tity of water that is now spread over ten square miles might be 
distributed with greater advantage over fifty square miles. 

Duty for rice crop. If an acre of land is irrigated with 4-J- inches 

~4A 
of water once, the quantity used up is 660ft. x 66ft. x ^ cub. 

ft., i.e., 16,335 cub. ft. In Bengal proper, the effect of one irri- 
gation of 4J inches last at least foe 15 days. The quantity ot 
water* that can flow oufc of a channel in 15 days at the rate of one 
cubic foot per second is 15x24x60x60=1,296,000 cub. ft., and 
the water beijng distributed at the rate of 16,335 cub. ft. per acre, 
about 80 acres can be irrigated. The duty of each cub. ft. of water 
flowing per second is therefore said to be 80 acres. According 
to the area of the opening of the channel and the rate of flow, the 
duty of any channel can be determined according to the above 
calculation. Canal Engineers should see that each lock-gate and 
sluice-gate is doing its full duty and that no water is wasted. If ? 
for instance, the opening of a channel is 4ft. X 1ft., and the flow' 
as ascertained by a pith-float, floated along the middle of the channel' 



THEORIES UNDERLYING IRRIGATION. 119 

is 2Jft. per second, the duty of such a channel is 10 X 80, or 
800 acres. 

The question of quantity of water needed for irrigation is also 
of great importance. Wherever canal-irrigation has been intro- 
duced, there raiyats feel that the more water they use the better 
value they get for the water rates they pay. This is a very serious 
error, which it is the duty of irrigation officers to dispel.. By using 
too much canal or well-water, one is bound to suffer sooner or 
later from the effects of over-irrigation. The complaint is already 
being heard, that canal-irrigation has ruined large tracts of land 
in the United Provinces. It is not the fault of the canals, but of 
over-irrigation, and of utilizing the water at the driest season when 
it is low down, and when it contains in solution too high a propor- 
tion of solids ; one inch of water once a month, or at most twice 
a month, should be the maximum allowance in the cold weather, 
and two to six inches in the dry weather, according to the period of 
growth of the plants. From this, the quantity obtained by rainfall 
should be deducted. For winter-rice, a larger amount of water is 
required at the growing period, i.e., about twelve inches per month 
for a little over two months, one-half of which quantity may have 
to be ordinarily supplied by irrigation. 

Irrigation of paddy-fields. Suppose one wishes to provide for the 
irrigation of paddy-fields, what provision of water should be 
made ? It is enough if rice plants have half an inch of water at 
their base for 72 days, i.e., if they have 36 inches of rainfall during 
the three months of vigorous growth from July to September. An 
acre (4,840 sq. yds.) would thus require 4,840 cub. yds. of water. 
An allowance of 2,160 cub. yds. may be made for evaporation and 
percolation, and the total maximum requirements per acre may 
be thus put down at 7,000 cub. yds. for the 72 days. Now 
there are 640 acres in a square mile. If a square mile of rice-fields 
has to be provided with the maximum quantity of water (for a 
season of severe drought), and the water in the canal runs at the 
rate of 1 mile an hour, a vent of only about 9 sq. feet is required. 
To provide means of irrigation for paddy, for any considerable 
agricultural area by means of tanks and wells is not feasible. 

Drainage We have said over-irrigation, or irrigation with 
water surcharged with soluble salts, results in an accumulation of 
these salts in the soil which gradually renders it barren. When 
canal-irrigation is provided, the means of correcting the evils of 
irrigation should be also provided. This consists in having drainage 
channels. Drainage would make much usar land fertile. A land 
which is drained, readily parts with its soluble salts. Irrigation- 
canals should be built with a fall of one foot per mile and the 
drainage channels should have a fall of two feet to the mile, and 
the drains empty themselves finally into a canal, stream, or river 
farther down where the level is six to eight feet below the level 
of the highest portion of the channel where the particular irrigation 



120 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

section begins. Drainage and irrigation channels should be simul- 
taneously provided wherever water, other than rain-water, is used 
for growing crops, whether it is well, or canal, or tank-water. 

Purity of waters What quantity of solids is contained in 
solution in a particular water, intended to be used for irrigation, 
cannot be determined except by an analysis. This analysis for 
agricultural purposes need not be an elaborate analysis at all. Of 
all natural waters, rain-water is the purest and safest to use for 
irrigation. Water of a river flowing through a granite country is 
also very pure, containing only two or three grains of solid matter 
in solution per gallon (i.e., 70,000 grains). The water of a river 
flowing through a country containing more easily soluble rocks 
(such as limestones) often contains twenty to thirty grains of solid 
matter in solution in every gallon. Springs, or well-water contains 
a larger proportion of solids in solution, as under pressure at great 
depth, such water absorbs larger volumes of carbon-dioxide, sul- 
phuretted hydrogen and other gases, and it also dissolves saline 
matters of different kinds from different rocks. Sea-water contains 
as much as 2,400 grains of solids in solution per gallon, of which 
about 2,000 grains are common salt. Sea-water is thus absolutely 
unfit for purposes of irrigation. 



CHAPTER XV. 

WATER-LIFTS. 

[Classification according to depth of water to which each lift is adapted net 
result of Indian experience : The single mdt with self-delivery tube ; The 
double mdt; Stoney's water-lift ; The Sultan water-lift; Mr. Chatterton's 
experiments ; The Madras Paikota ; Tera or Ldthd ; Chain-Pumps ; Persian 
wheels ; Egyptian appliances for irrigation (Sackiyeh Taboot and Shadoof) ; 
The Noria ; Windmills ; Baldeo-Bdlti ; Artesian and Tube-wells ; Windlass- 
and-Bucket-lift ; Pumps and s Fire-engines ; Centrifugal Pumps; Com- 
parison of cost of irrigation with different appliances. 

Classification By far the most important implement for the 
Indian raiyat is the water-lift. Various forms of water-lifts are 
in use. The following are adapted for depths of over 25 feet : 

(1) M6ts, single and double ; (2) Stoney's Water-lift ; and (3) Force- 
pumps and Fire-engines. The following are adapted for medium 
depths, i.e., depths varying from 10 to 25 feet : (1) Paikota ; 

(2) Tera, Dhehkli or Latha ; (3) Persian wheels ; (4) Cawnpore 
chain-pump ; (5) Subha Rao's see-saw water-lift ; (6) Deck-pumps ; 
{7} Centrifugal pumps ; (8) Windmills. The water-lifts adapted for 
depths smaller than 10 feet are : (1) Sewni or Swing-basket ; (2) 
Irrigation-spoon or ladle ; (3) Baldeo-bdUi ; and (4) Don. 

Of all these water-lifts experimented with, the single mot has 
been pronounced by the authorities in charge^ of the various Ex- 
perimental Farms, as the best for deep wells, everything being taken 



WATER-LIFTS. 



121 



into account, and the paikota, the don and the baldeo-bdlti, the best 
for short lifts. 

The Single mot (Fig. 38) with a self-delivery tube, which will 
be understood by a reference to the position of the bucket (which 
is shown in two positions in the figure) costs only about Rs. 25 
setting up, and as it does not require such a wide well as the double 
mot to work it successfully, it is the most suitable water-lift for fairly 
well-to-do cultivators. In the United Provinces mots are not pro- 
vided with self-delivery tubes, and there an additional person is 
therefore needed for emptying the bucket or leather-bag when it 
comes up at the mouth of the well. 

The record of an experiment with a single mot conducted in 
Madras gives the following data : " The mot was worked by two 
bullocks weighing 732tbs. and 616tt>s. respectively, or in the aggre- 
gate l,348tbs. The bucket, which was of iron and fitted with a 
leathern discharging 
trunk, weighed 43Fbs., 
and when full held 31 
gallons of water, but 
the mean quantity lift- 
ed, as measured into 
a tank, was 24'2 gallons 
per lift, the rest being 
spilt or lost by leakage. 
With the bullocks em- 
ployed, the rate of 
working was 90 lifts 
per hour, and the height of the lift being 23ft., the total quantity 
of work usefully done amounted to 500,940ft. -ffis. per hour. The 
draught exerted by the bullocks down the inclined plane was found 
to be 3831t>8. The useful work done in a single lift was 24*2 x 10 x 23, 
or 5,570ft. -ffis., whilst the bullocks exerted a pull of 383 fts. through 
25|ft., the bucket having to be raised an extra 2|ft. to enable it 
to discharge its contents, and the work done is equal to 9,760ft.- 
tt)s. The bullocks then had to return up a gradient of 1 in 5'28ft., in 
doing which they expended 6,510 (1,300* X T .-b x 25J), ft.-fts. of 
energy in lifting their own weight against the action of gravity. 
The total amount of work done by them in a single lift was therefore 
16,270ft.-tfes., and the useful outturn 5,570ft.-lfts., so that the 
efficiency of this method of lifting water is not greater than 33 per 
cent." 

Tilt double mot The following data occur for an experiment 
with the Double mot conducted in Madras : " The buckets 
were of iron with leathern discharging trunks and were in good 
order and discharged an average oi 28 gallons per bucket as 
measured into a tank. The trial lasted 3 hours, and in that ,time 




Fi, 38. THE SINGLE MOT. 



* The figure 1,300 is for the weight of the two bullocks, minus the weight of 
bucket and rope (i.e., 1,348-43-5.) 



122 



HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 



200 buckets of tlie water raised. The mean lift was 22' 125ft. and! 
the useful work done per hour was 413,OOOft.-Ibs. The circum- 
ference of the drum of the winch was 12ft. 11 Jin., and the circum- 
ference of the circle in which the bullocks walked was 60ft. 9in.,. 
so that the velocity ratio was 4*67. The pull on the dynamometer 
at the ordinary speed of working was 90fbs., and the pull to just 
prevent a full bucket descending, 59ft>s., and the pull to just raise 
a full bucket, Sifts. The mean between these last two quantities, 
TOffis., is the force at the end of the lever-arm required to balance 
a full bucket of water when friction is eliminated. Multiplying 
by the mechanical advantage, the unbalanced weight is 327ffis., 
a result probably not very much in error, as the water in the bucket 
weighed about 300R)s. The mechanical efficiency of the lift just 
moving is therefore 74 per cent., and working at its normal speed, 
6'6 per cent. Tha lifts average I'lll per minute, and the animal 

was therefore usefully employed 
for 52 a 5 per cent, of the time, 
and the absolute efficiency of the 
lift as a machine for utilizing 
the energy of the bullock is 
0-66x52-5, or 35 per cent," 




FIG. 39. THE DOUBLE MOT (PLAN). 




FIG. 40. THE DOUBLE MOT. 
(SECTION THROUGH A. B.) 



Stonty's Water-lift The princi- 
pal feature in this lift is the em- 
ployment of buckets of wrought, 
iron suspended in a stirrup by 
two adjustable pivots attached to 
the bucket very slightly above 
the centre of gravity of the bucket 
when full of water. The mouth 
of the bucket is inclined and the 
lower ends of the stirrup are 
turned outwards and encircled 
steel wires which are suspended in 
the well from screwed eye-bolts attached to the framing above. The 
wires are fastened by some convenient means to the bottom of the^ 
well and act as guides to the bucket, ascending and descending, and 
prevent it from either turning round or swaying to and fro and thus 
striking either the sides of the well or the second bucket. On the 
bucket being lowered into the water, it-turns horizontal, and rapidly 
fills with water, and on being drawn up assumes a vertical position 
and rises steadily out of the water till the discharging level is reach- 
ed, when the upper side of the inclined mouth comes into contact 
with an iron bar fixed across the framing of the lift, and the stirrup, 
continuing its upward motion, causes the bucket to revolve about 
the point of contact of the bucket with the iron rod and thus dis- 
charge its contents into the delivery trough. The lift, as arranged 
at Saidapet during the trials, was worked by arranging the ropea 
which hold the buckets over guide-pulleys to a winch turned by 



WATER-LIFTS. 



12$ 




either a pair of bullocks or a single bullock. Two buckets were 
attached and the ropes arranged so that as one bucket ascended the 
other descended and the dead weight of the bucket was balanced. 
The winch consisted ot a drum built of wood and carried by an iron 
spindle on the top of a post firmly built into the ground. The bul- 
locks worked at the end of a long arm, the circumstance swept out 
by which was 3*85 times the circumference of the drum. Thus 
Stoney's Water-lift is only an adaptation of the double mot, where 
the buckets slide up two wires instead of thumping against the sides 
and instead of the self-delivery tubes there is a tilting arrangement. 
Mr. Subba Rao of the Madras Agricultural Department has 
introduced an improvement in the single mot which consists in 
balancing the empty mot or bucket by a weight attached over a 
pulley. It adds considerably to the expense, and "it is doubtful 
if it contributes any real increase to the efficiency of the lift, as 
the friction of the extra pulley absorbs power, and more work is 
thrown on the drivers since the unbalanced bucket materially 
assists the driver in 
climbing the steep 
ramp." (Bulletin No. 35, 
Madras Water-lifts, by 
A. Chatterton, 1897). 

The Sultan Water-lift. 

This is a modification of 
the double mot. The 
buckets are balanced and 
each is fitted with a valve 
which opens and allows 
the water to fill the buc- 
ket. When new, the 
valves are water-tight, 
but they soon begin to 
leak. The bullocks walk in a straight and horizontal path and 
they do not need to be driven backwards. So far the Sultan 
Water-lift has not been found acceptable, the dead pull being too 
great for the cattle and the rope. *The tilting arrangement is not 
unlike that of Stoney's Water-lift. 

Sulba Rao's See-saw Water-lift (Figs. 41 and 42) also, though a 
very ingenious contrivance, is not a complete success as yet. 
" In this form of Water-lift, the bullock is made to walk 
along a platform supported on a roller and by his weight it is 
caused to oscillate up and down. Two ropes are attached to one 
end of the platform and wound round two small drums, forming 
part of a species of windlass at the two ends of the large drum round 
which a rope working an ordinary single mot is passed. The plat- 
form is not supported at the middle, but at some distance therefrom, 
so that the working end of the platform greatly preponderates, and 
the bullock has to walk to the free end of the platform to tilt, the 



FIG. 41. SCJBBA RAO'S WATER-LIFT (PLAN). 




FIG. 42. SUBBA RAO'S WATER LIFT 
(SECTION). 



124 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

longer segment up and lower the bucket into the well. The 
platform is 24 feet long and the supporting roller is fixed 15 feet 
3f inches from the working end." The weight of the two sections 
of the platform is l,4501bs. and 8501bs., respectively. To diminish 
the shock when the free end falls and the bucket is lowered into the 
water, 2301bs. of iron rails are fastened underneath the platform 
by a short chain, so that just before the end of the platform reaches 
its lowest position, the rails rest on the ground and their weights 
cease to act, and the platform comes to rest more gently than would 
be the case if the velocity of descent continued to accelerate to 
the very end. The ropes from the platform are wound round drums, 
the circumference of which is 3 feet 2| inches, as measured by un- 
winding one coil of the rope ; and the mot rope is worked from a 
drum 7 feet 10 inches in circumference, so that the motion of the 
working end of the platform is multiplied 2*443 times. Mr. Subba 
Rao told me he intended substituting chains ior ropes, as ropes 
lengthen in time and the efficiency of the lift is reduced in time 
thereby. With the bucket empty and the platform horizontal, the 
load at the free end can be varied from 1601bs. to 3621bs. without 
disturbing the equilibrium, whilst with a load of 2471bs. in the 
bucket, equal to 24*7 gallons of water, the platform remained 
horizontal though the loads at the working end varied between 
581bs. and 2751bs. Taking the mean between the two extreme 
values to be the actual weights required to balance the platform, 
it is possible by taking moments about the centre, to determine 
the only force acting on the platform which is not measured, viz., 
the weight of the empty bucket and ropes acting with a leverage 
of 2,443 to 1. With the bucket unloaded, the weight works out 
as 65*41bs. and when loaded, 651bs., a remarkably close agree- 
ment. The lift was worked during the trial by a bullock weighing 
7001bs. and a man weighing 1171bs. The rate of working was 
81 lifts per hour from a well 18 feet 1 inch deep. The average 
quantity of water brought up by the bucket, as measured into a 
tank, was 23*5 gallons, and the useful work done per hour amounted 
to 344,210ft.-lbs. The mechanical efficiency of the lift can be 
ascertained by multiplying the fall of the front end of the plat- 
form by the force required to set it in steady motion when lifting 
a bucket full of water. The total height the bucket had to rise to 
discharge its contents was 22 feet, and the end of the platform 
therefore fell 9 feet and the work done was 584 x 9=5.256ft.-lbs. 
To raise the plattorm back to its initial position, the free end 
then falls 5'18 4 feet and the load on it is 3621bs., and the work 
done is equal to l,875ft.-lbs. The total work therefore done in 
a single lift is 7,131ft.-lbs. and the useful work given to the 
water is 4,245ft. -Ibs. ; so that the mechanical efficiency when just 
working is 59*6 per cent. ; at the normal rate of working it is 
much lower, probably not more than 50 per cent. 

Mr. Chatterton thus summarises the ^rials of the various 
Madras Water-lifts : 



WATER-LIFTS. 



125* 



Foot-tons of work per Ib. weight. 
Mr. Stoiiey's Water-lift .. .. 2'253 

Double Mot (Saidapet) . . . . 1-930 

Single Mot (Subba Rao's Improved) . . 2-323 
Subba Rao's See-saw Water-lift . . 3-511 

He also gives the following figures for comparison of the- 
results of the trials : 





Stoney 's 
Water-lift. 


Double Mo1 
(Saidapet ). 


Single Mot 
(Subba RaoV 
Improved). 


Subba Rao 'a 
See-saw 
Water-lift. 


Useful work in ft.-lbs. 










per hour (A) 


571,500 


413,000 


r-00,010 


344,210 


Woight of animals in Ib. (B) 


1,140 


1,140 


1,348 


700 


A 


4<)S 


3(i() 


371 


492 


B 










Mechanical efficiency 










just moving 


83-fl% 


74% 




r>jn>% 


Mechanical efficiency 










at working speed 


79% 


6H'0% 


34-25% 




Absolute efficiency 


47-2% 


*->% 







It may be noted here that the ordinary Pnicota (Fig. 43), 
though a dangerous instrument, is still considered in the Madras 
Presidency the best 
appliance for lifting 
water from small 
depths (say 10 to 
12ft.), and the sin- 
gle mot the best for 
lifting water from 
great depths. The 
inexpensiveness of 
the appliances, the 
ease with which 
they are set up and 
repaired, cannot 
very well be sur- 
passed for v$ry 
small depths. The 
swing-basket (Fig. 
49), and the irriga- 
tion-spoon (Fig. 1), 
such as is used in 
Madras by a single 
person, are also con- 
sidered very efficient 
for small depths. 

Chain-pumps. Of the chain-pumps in use, the Oawnpore Pump has 
found favour with the Agricultural Departments. This chain-pump, 




FUJ. 43. PAICOTA. 



126 



HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 



FIG. 44 THE CAWNPORE CHAIN-PUMP. 



the chain-discs of which are fitted with leather washers, works well 
when new, but they require to be renewed or repaired from time 
to time. They are to be had at the Government farm at Cawnpore . 
Chain-pumps Hand-lift (Fig. 44, I, II and III) works well up to 
& depth of 25 feet, but it is doubtful whether it is more efficient 

than the mot at depths 
above fifteen feet. The 
cast-iron stand (I), as 
well as the top part of 
the pipe, are fixed on 
two beams a a (I and 
II), walled into the 
masonry on the top 
of the well by means 
of six bolts, b b. The 
pipe with top c is to 
be fixed in such a way 
that the centre of the 
pipe and the centre of 
the wheel are in one 
line A B (II). The 
lower end of the bell- 
mouthed pipe should 
extend at least six 
inches below the sur- 
face of the water. The 
pipes, for lifts of more 
HAND-LIFT. BULLOCK-POWER LIFT. than 10 feet depth of 

well, ought to be fixed 

on a beam, d (I, II and III), walled into the masonry of the well at 
a vertical distance of about 2 or 3 feet above the water-level by 
means of an iron strap, e, with bolts (I and III) in order to 
keep them firmly in their proper position. The pipe should not 
be fixed vertically, but on an incline, according to the slope of 
the chain (Fig. 1), in order to avoid friction as much as possible. 
The chain-pulley should be worked at the rate of 25 to 40 
revolutions per minute, according to depth of well, from 4 to 25 
feet, respectively. The following are the approximate capacities 
of a Chain-pump Hand-lift for different depths of well, if worked 
by two good coolies : 




Depth of well. 


1 Diameter of pipe. 


Approximate quantity of water 
raised per hour. 


Pric-e. 


4 feet 




4 inches 




15,000 gallons 




Rs. 35 


6 


> 




4 


9 




8,000 









37 


10 






3i 


9 




4,500 


, 






40 


15 


> 


. 


3 


9 




2,500 









45 


20 







2J 


, 




1,800 


> 






50 


25 







2* 


' 




1,300 


4 






55 



WATER-LIFTS. 



127 



Fig. 44 (IV and V) shows a Double Chain-pump Lift worked 
by bullock-power. It has about three to four times the capacity of 
a Hand-power Lift, and it can be conveniently worked up to a 
depth of forty feet, but it is probably not as efficient as the mot 
at depths greater than twenty feet. 
It consists of a bullock gear, the 
horizontal shaft of which carries 
two chain-pulleys, / /, each working 
a chain-pump. The gear is fixed 
with four bolts on two beams, m m, 
walled into the masonry on the 
top of the well. The top parts 
of the pipings, n n, are fixed with 
four bolts on two other beams, 
o o, also walled into the masonry 
of the well. A fifth beam p 
serves for fixing the lower part of 
the pipes similarly as described 
before for the Hand-lift. 

n~ M i~ iAfh-*i. T> FlG 4-5. PERSIAN WHEEL WORKED 

Persian Wheels. F e r s i a n B v HAND AND FOOT. 

Wheels are in use in the Malabar 

Coast, Rajputana, Kathiawar and in the Punjab. Some (Fig. 45) 
are of very simple and cheap construction. The type illustrated 
in the figure is used chiefly in the coast of Kathiawar, Gujrat and 
the west coast of India generally. A bamboo or wooden drum of 
light framework turns on an axle which rests on two pivots. One 





FIG. 46. THE EGYPTIAN PERSIAN WHEEL 

is at the top of a strong support fixed in water and the other on the 
top of another support fixed on dry land, or both the pivots are on 
the sides of a well. A man sits and turns the drum with his hands 
and feet. Round the drum is attached an endless garland of mud 
vessels which are brought up by the revolution of the drums carry- 



128 



HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 




FIG. 47. THE TABOOT. 



ing water in them, and discharging the water (from three rnud ves- 
sels at a time), into a trough of stone whence it flows out to the field. 
Each mud vessel is tied on both sides with ropes, and a bamboo 
or a rope hanging down on one side of the well, i.e., the side at which 

the mud vessels 
filled with water 
are coming up, 
bumping against 
the side of the 
well is prevented. 
With this imple- 
ment one man 
can irrigate one- 
tenth of an acre 
a day. 

Mr. Andrews, 
a missionary of 
Chingleput, has 

built a Persian Wheel out of old railway rails, over a circular well 
24 ft. 6 inches in diameter. The rotating drum is 6 ft. in diameter 
and 3 ft. 8 inches wide and carries a double chain of sheet-iron 

buckets, each hold- 
ing r80 gallons. 
The axle is prolong- 
ed on one side and 
driven through a 
pair of bevel wheels, 
by a winch. Each 
bucket is provided 
with a leather flap- 
valve to permit of 
the escape of air 
from the descending 
buckets as they 
enter the water. 
This improved 
Persian Wheel works 
very satisfactorily. 
From a raiyat's 
point of view, how- 
ever, it is too costly 
and it has too many 
working parts. 

Egfptfan appliances. 
The P e r s i an 
Wheel of the Punjab 
pattern, which is the same as the Egyptian Persian Wheel, is, 
also somewhat too complicated for ordinary iraiyats' use (Fig. 46) in 
Bengal, though commonly employed in Bombay. The Egyptian 




FIG. 48. THE SHADOOF. 



WATER-LIFTS. 



129 



Persian Wheel or Saekiyeh, as illustrated in p. 127, is thus described 
in Lane's Modern Egyptians : " The Saekiyeh mainly consists 
of a vertical wheel which raises the water in earthen pots attached 
to cords, and forms a continuous series ; a second vertical wheel, 
fixed to the same axis, with cogs, and a large horizontal cogged 
wheel, which, being turned by a pair of cows or bulls, or by a single 
beast, puts in motion the former wheels arid pots." Another beau- 
tiful Egyptian arrangement for raising water is the Taboot 
(Fig. 47), which resembles the Persian Wheel in some respects, 
the chief difference being that pots are not used, but the water 
is raised up in a large wheel with hollow joints or fellies. The 
bullock is blind-folded, and it goes round and round even without 
a driver, while the cog-wheel to which the shaft of the bullock 
is attached moves the 
other two wheels . The 
wheel with the hollow 
fellies faces a channel 
to which seven or 
eight of the hollows 
pour out their con- 
tents simultaneously, 
while others are com- 
ing up in an endless 
series. This arrange- 
ment is adapted only 
for small depths. The 
mot (without the self- 
de livery tube) and the 
swing-basket are also 
in use in Egypt, as 
also the Tera or Sha- 
doof. The Shadoof 
(Fig. 48) consists of 

two posts or pillars of wood, or of mud and cane or rushes 
about 5ft. in height and less than 3ft. apart, with a 
horizontal piece of wood extending, from top to top, to which is 
suspended a slender lever formed of a branch of a tree having at 
one end a weight, chiefly composed of mud, and at the other, sus- 
pended from two long palm sticks, a vessel in the form of a bowl 
made of basket-work, or of a hoop and piece of woollen 
stuff or leather. With this vessel the water is thrown up to 
the height of about 8ft. into a trough hollowed out for its 
reception. The Shadoof is thus a combined Idthd and swing- 
basket. The ordinary Swing-basket of Bengal is illustrated in 
Fig. 49. 

The Noria or Bucket-pump is another form of improved Per- 
sian Wheel, which consists of buckets chained one to another in an 
endless series and worked by hand or animal power. The follow- 
ing facts and figures taken from the catalogue of Messrs. W. J. & 




FIG. 49. THE BENGAL SWING BASKET, 



M, HA 



9 



130 



HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 



C. T. Burgess (Victoria Works, Brentwood, Essex, England) give 
a general idea of the efficiency of this kind of water-lift : 





Gals, 
pr. hr. 


20 feet. 

| 8. 


30 feet. 

t s. 


40 feet. 

t s. 


50 feet. 

t s. 


60 feet. 

J s. 


70 feet. 
J s. 


80 feet. 

I s. 


Single chain 


.. 1,000 


l ir, 


10 


1 10 


10 


1 22 


10 


Not intended for gtr. depth than 40 ft. 


Double ,, 


.. 1,000 


1 1 8 


3 


1 21 


9 


1 24 


15 


1 28 1 


1 31 8 


1 34 15 


1 38 1 


Single 


.. 1,500 


1 22 


9 


1 26 


10 


1 31 


9 Not intended for gtr 


. depth than 40 ft. 


Double , , 


.. 1,500 


1 22 





1 26 


10 


1 31 





1 35 10 


1 40 


2 45 12 


2 50 2 



Number of bullocks or donkeys needed. 



Wind-mills, aeromotors, and oil-engines with centrifugal pumps, 
other means of raising water, have been already described in 




FIG. 60. -THE BALDEO BALTI. 



Chapter XI. Full directions for erecting aeromotors are given in 
the catalogues of the Companies constructing and supplying them. 




FIG. 51. THE ORDINARY DON. 



(Vide Part 1 of Catalogue No. 29 of Freeman Steel Wind-mills, 
S. Freeman & Sons, Manufacturing Co., Racine, Wis., U. S. A.) 



WATER-LIFTS. 



131 




FIG. 52. NUBIAN 
TUBE- WELL. 



The Baltfeo Baiti An ingenious mechanical adaptation of 
the don (or canoe-shaped water-lift) for watering from small 
depths, known as the Baldeo Balti, is the invention of Baldeo, 
the agricultural-mechanic of the United Provinces Agricultural 
Department. It is a double don worked by a single bullock. The 
bullock goes round and round a tree or post to 
which the yoke-pole is attached. When one of 
the dons rises and discharges its water, the other 
goes dow T n, the entrance of water into the empty 
don being facilitated by means of a valve. The 
arrangement of the strings to which the two dons 
are tied after passing over three pulleys, can be 
best understood from the above diagram (Fig. 
50). The single don, which is either a hollowed-out 
trunk of palm or simul tree, or manufactured of 
iron, is largely employed all over the country. 
Iron dons (Fig. 51) are obtainable of Tara- 
prasanna Chakdar of Gushkara, E. I. R., for 
Re. 1-4 per cubit. 

Artesian Wells The question of sinking 
artesian wells and tube-wells (Fig. 52), both for 
irrigation and drinking purposes, is a very import- 
ant one, but its solution cannot be said to have 
been accomplished as yet in this country. Dr. 
Dyson, late Sanitary Commissioner for Bengal, 
drew special attention to this subject in a note, dated the 31st 
March 1896. In concluding this note, Dr. Dyson remarks : 
" The Saidpore investigation confirms my favourable impression 
of tube-wells as an easy means of obtaining pure and wholesome 
water. I am not, however, prepared to recommend their 
universal use, because they are not suitable for all 
soils, but wherever they can be got to work, I 
think they ought to be used in preference to 
ordinary wells and tanks, than w r hich they are 
much cheaper and far more satisfactory. They 
are specially suited for a loose, sandy soil like 
that of Saidpore. In hard laterite soil, or in clay, 
they cannot, of course, be got to work, and in 
alluvia] soil, like that of Chittagong, Noakhali, 
Backergunge, etc., it is not desirable that they 
should be tried, as in these places, which are 
subject to the influence of sea-waves and salt 
tides, the water is brackish. It might be men- 
tioned that in soil which is suitable, the sandy -o_ M 
beds of nalas and the dry beds of good tanks, OPFIXING NUBIAN 
offer the best prospects *of rapidly sinking a TUBE- WELLS. 
water-supply which is practically inexhaustible." 
There are not many successful artesian wells in India, and it is 
still a question how far artesian water exists and can be tapped. 




132 



HANDBOOK OP AGRICULTURE. 




FIG. 54. THE 
DRIVE-POINT 
AND MONKEY 
GEAR, 



There are also many tube-wells working satisfactorily at Pondi- 
cherry. Borings at the bottom of wells up to a depth of 200ft. 
have been made successfully in the Baroda State by Mr. Kasherao 
Jadhav, and by the Bombay Agricultural Department in other 
parts of Gujarat, to keep up a continuous supply in wells. 

Of the firms which manufacture and supply artesian and tube- 
wells and the driving apparatus and boring tools, may be mentioned 
Messrs. C. Isler & Co., Artesian Works, Bear Lane r 
Southwark, London, S. E. Messrs. W. Leslie & Co. 
of Calcutta, supplv tube-wells at the following 
prices : 

Drive point and 20ft. l|in., wrought-iron tube in 
short lengths with a pitcher pump 

Ks. 
20ft. .. .. ..45 

25 . . . . . . 50 

30 . . . . . . 55 

40 . . . . . . 60 

The price of the driving apparatus, the same set 
serving for any number, is Rs. 45. The manner of 
planting the drive-point first, is illustrated in Fig. 
54, and the whole arrangement for fixing the well 
in Fig. 53. 

Another device for irrigation, called the Windlass and Bucket- 
Lift, is illustratd in Fig. 55. It is useful for bringing water from 
a stream or canal to adjoining fields. The two positions of the same 
bucket are illustrated in the figure. A tilting arrangement, some- 
what resembling that in 
use in Stoney's Water 
Lift, occurs at the top of 
the post, and when the 
bucket reaches this posi- 
tion, it gets upset coming 
in contact with the tilting 
rod. The bucket slides 
up and down a steel rope, 
and with an ordinary 
rope it is worked with 

the windlass. Two buckets may be simultaneously worked 
when there are two steel-ropes, one bucket travelling up while 
the other marches down. This arrangement is suitable for lifting 
water on hill-sides from a stream at the bottom, and in other suit- 
able sites. 

Fin-engines and other pumpt. Of suction and force pumps 
suitable for irrigation, the first place must be given to Fire-engines. 
Heathman's Platform Fire-engine and Hand Curricle Fire-engine 
are excellent for pumping sewage, irrigating, as well as for putting 
out fires. Village unions or tehsildars should have these for let- 
ting out on emergencies and also for regular irrigation purposes, at so 




FIG. 65. WINDLASS AND BUCKET-LIFT. 



WATER-LIFTS. 133 

much per day. The suction can take place from a depth of 28ft. 
and as much as 600ft. of delivery hose can be forced through. 
Heathman's Platform Fire-engine No. 1 worked by 2 to 4: persons 
and discharging about 2,000 gallons of water per hour over a height 
of 60ft. is priced 12 10s. 6d. Heathman's* Truck-Force-Pump, 
which can be moved about from place to place, and worked by one 
man, pumps up about 500 gallons of water or liquid manure per 
hour. This pump is also used as a fire-engine. Its price with 10ft. 
of suction-hose and 2ft. of discharge-hose and spray fan and 
nozzle complete, is 5 106. Od. for a 3-inch pump and 6 for a 2i-inch 
pump. 

Of suction and force pumps may be also recommended the 
" Handy " or Semi-rotary Wing Pump mounted on wheels (Fig. 
56). These are priced by Messrs. W. Leslie & Co., of Calcutta, at 
Rs. 125. They raise 300 to 500 gallons of water per hour. 

Handier syringe pumps are specially adapted for applying 




FIG. 56 SEMI-ROTARY WING PUMP. 

insecticides and fungicid|. Of these may be recommended Messrs. 
Heathman's Brigade Suction Pump, made of brass and copper. 
It ejects to a distance of about 30ft. 300 gallons of liquid per hour. 
With 6ft. suction-hose and strainer, 2ft. delivery-hose and nozzle 
the price is 50 shillings. Extra suction-hose costs Is. 2d. per foot 
and extra delivery-hose, 8^d. per foot. 

Centrifugal pumps which do not possess valves and washers 
are not so liable to get out of order as ordinary suction and force 
pumps, and if such are made with multiplying wheels suitable for 
hand-driving, they may prove a boon to our raiyats. Centrifugal 
pumps are in common use in indigo plantations and in factories 
in this country, but these are worked with steam-power and they 
are too expensive for the ordinary raiyat. 



* J. H. Heathman & Co., Manufacturers, 2 & 37, Endell Street, London, 
W. C. 



134 HANDBOOK OP AGRICULTURE. 

Comparlton off costs, etc. The centrifugal pump worked by 
an 8 H.-P. steam-engine, and used for irrigation purposes at the 
Cawnpore Experimental Farm, irrigates four acres ot land per day 
and it costs Rs. 5 per day in coal, oil and wages of the mechanic. 
The Cawnpore chain-pump worked by 2 men (4 men being re- 
quired for working it without interruption) irrigates about'an acre 
a day at a cost of about 8 annas where the water is within 4ft. 
as at Cawnpore. Where the water is deeper, say 10 to 12ft., as at 
Sibpur, the Barakar pump (which is very like the Cawnpore pump) 
is able to irrigate only one-third of an acre a day, i.e., less than the 
swing-basket does, and the wages of labour also are at Sibpur 
double what they are at Cawnpore, so that the cost per acre is 
about Rs. 3 at Sibpur against eight annas, the cost incurred at 
Cawnpore. The Raldeo Water-Lift irrigates about onethird of an 
acre per day at a cost of six annas (one bullock and one man) under 
conditions prevailing at Cawnpore. The Stoney's Water-Lift 
worked by a strong pair of bullocks, and a man irrigates, from a 
deep well of 30 to 40ft., about one-third of an aero per diem at a 
cost of 12 annas (about Re. 1-8 in Calcutta). On sandy soils less 
work can be done and on stiff clay-soils more. The figures given 
apply to a medium loam. It is important to compare these high 
class or improved irrigation appliances with those in common use 
in this country, viz., the swing-basket, the terd or Idthd, the don. 
the single and double wof and the single Persian Wheel (Punjab 
pattern). (J) To work the swing-basket three men at least are 
required, the man distributing the water relieving in turn the two 
men employed in baling out the water. The height to which the 
water can be lifted with the swing-basket is from 5 up to 10ft. 
About one-third of a cubic foot of water is thrown up each time, 
and there are about 20 deliveries per minute, which gites 400 
cub. ft. of water per hour. If 25 per cent, is allowed for wastage, 
percolation, etc., the actual discharge conies to 300 cub. ft., i.e., 
1,890 gallons. (2) To work the terd, Idthd or-dhenkii (i.e., the or- 
dinary lever and bucket-lift) one man is<>mployed at the bucket 
and one man for distributing the water. The water can be easily 
raised 16ft. high. The contents of the bucket or dol is about half 
a cubic foot. The number of discharges per minute is about three. 
The discharge per hour is therefore 90 cub. ft. Allowing 10 per 
cent, in this case for wastage, we get about 81 cub. ft. 500 gallons 
per hour. (3) The don or canoe-shaped lift, made of trunks of 
trees hollowed out or of iron (iron dons being now in common use 
in Birbhum and Murshidabad), is also worked by one man. It 
raises water onl} r up to a height of 5 or 6ft. There are 10 deliveries 
per minute, each delivery being about 3 cub. ft., 1,800 cub. ft. 
are thus lifted per hour. Waste of only about 10 per cent, takes 
place in this case. The actual quantity of water lifted is therefore 
1,620 cub. ft., which at 6^ gallons per cub. ft. gives 10,206 gallons 
per hour. (4) To work the single mot with seli^deJivery tube, one 
man and two bullocks are required, besides the man distributing 



WATER-LIFTS. 135 

the water. Water can be lifted from a depth of 40 to 80ft. 
The bullocks walk at the rate of 2 miles an hour. For each lift of 
40ft. the bullocks traverse 80ft. The contents of the bag or bucket 
is 3 cub. ft. The number of lifts per minute is only one. So the 
discharge per hour is 60 x 3, i.e., 180 cub. ft. Allowing 25 per cent, 
of loss by spilling 135 cub. ft. or 850 gallons per hour is the result 
obtained. But whereas, at the Sibpur farm, spilling is avoided by 
the bucket being made to slide up two tight steel ropes as in Stoney's 
Water- Lift, the loss may be put down at only 10 per cent., and in 
that case we get over 1,000 gallons per hour. The draught or trac- 
tion required being 2551bs., two bullocks are essential. (5) The 
double mot also requires one man and two bullocks. The diameter 
of the whim being 3 ft. and the diameter of the bullock-walk being 
16ft., the bullocks walking at the rate of 2 miles per hour can take 
3*4 turns per minute. The time taken for raising the bag or bucket 
from a depth of 40ft. is 1-4 minutes. The contents, of the bag or 
bucket being 3 cub. ft., the discharge per hour from the two bags 
or buckets comes to 252 cub. ft., of which 35 per cent, may be cal- 
culated for wastage. Thus wo arrive at 165 cub. ft. or 1,045 gal- 
lons per hour. The ratio of power to weight where the diameter 
of whim and bullock-walk are 3ft. and 16ft. is 3 : 16. The total 
weight raised each time being 4601bs., the draught exerted is 1241bs. 
or considerably less than in the case of the single mot. (6) To work 
the single Persian Wheel also one man and two bullocks (or even one 
bullock), besides the man distributing water, are required. The 
water being raised 40ft., the diameter of the driving wheel being 
4ft., the diameter of the wheel to which the buckets or pots are 
attached being also 4ft., assuming the content of each bucket 
one-eighth of a cubic foot and 6 buckets being emptied at each turn 
of the bullocks, the discharge at each turn conies to three-quarters 
of a cubic foot. The length ol the bullock-walk being 62*8ft. and 
the speed of bullocks being 2 miles an hour, the bullocks make 2' 8 
turns prr minute. The discharge per hour is therefore 126 cub. ft., 
of which 45 per cent, n^ay be allowed for wastage. The actual dis- 
charge thus comes to 69*3 cub. it. or 429 gallons per hour. The 
buckets being tied 2ft. apart from middle to middle, the number 
of biickets in one endless chain is 40. The weight of buckets is 
about ISOlbs. Twenty buckets being always full, the weight of 
water they contain is 1561bs. The weight of the rope is 221bs. The 
total weight raised is therefore, 2581bs. The modulus being '6, the 
power required to raise 2581bs. is 4301bs. The ratio between this 
power and the power exerted by bullocks being about 1*5, the 
draught or power exerted is only 861bs., which is lighter still than in 
the case of the double mot. Such a Persian Wheel can be worked 
by one bullock only. 

From the above figures it may be seen that the native irriga- 
tion appliances are by no means to be despised, and that taking all 
things into consideration we come to the following conclusions : 
(1) The don is the best implement for Indian use for small depths 



136 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE, 

(up to 6ft.), its lifting capacity, being 10,000 gallons per hour 
(2) Next to it comes the swing-basket, which in the hands ot dex- 
terous coolies will lift about 2,000 gallons of water per hour irom 
a depth of 10ft. (3) For medium depths, either a double or triple 
series of dons, or the lever and bucket-lift (tern) is the best. 500 
gallons of water can be raised per hour with the terd. (4) For great 
depths, the single and double mot and the Egyptian or Punjab 
pattern Persian Wheel are the best. The mots will give about 
1,000 gallons per hour, and the Persian Wheel about 500 gallons. 
Considering the cost, the single mot is to be preferred to all others 
for great depths, and to adapt ordinary ring wells of only 3ft. 
diameter, and to avoid spilling of water, the bucket can be made 
to slide up two steel ropes stretched vertically from the bottom of 
the well up to the beam whence the pulley is suspended. To irri- 
gate an acre of land, 50,000 gallons are required for clay soils, and 
100,000 gallons for sandy loams. The latter quantity is equivalent 
to about half an inch of rainfall, which is enough to soak thorough- 
ly six inches of soil. For more thorough irrigation, double the 
above quantities may be allowed, viz., 100,000 gallons per acre for 
clay soils and 200,000 gallons per acre for sandy loams, and the 
arrangements needed for irrigating a particular locality with any 
of the water-lifts or pumps described above, can be worked out 
for every particular locality. 



CHAPTER XVI. 

OTHER AGRICULTURAL IMPLEMENTS. 

[Bull's dredger, rice-huskers, chaff-cutters, root-cutter, root-pulper, kibMei, oil- 
cake-crusher, meal -grinder, hay-trusser, oil-mill, feeding troughs and hur- 
dles, bone and stone-grinder, maize -huller, cotton gin, sugar-rune mill, silos, 
dairy implements ; insccticidal and fungicidal appliances ; carts ; balances 
(steel-yard); tea and coffee planters' machinery; machinery tound useful 
in the Sripur Farm.] 

OF other implements and machinery that are or may be used 
in agricultural operations may be mentioned the following : 

(1) Bull's Dredger for sinking wells. 
These are made in the workshop of the 
Cawnpore Experimental Farm and sold 
for Rs. 180 to Rs. 210. 

(2) Rice-huskers or hullers and polish- 
ers, which will be dealt with separately 
in the next part in connection with the 
rice crop. 

(3) Chaff-cutter (Fig. 57), by Messrs. 
Burn & Co., price Rs. 53. 

(4) Root-cutter. Ordinary dao or kdtdri 
FIG. 57. CHAFF-CUTTER, does the work more slowly. 

(5) Root-Pulper. Dhenki with cemen- 
ted motar answers fairly well. 




OTHER AGRICULTURAL IMPLEMENTS. 137 

(6) Kibbler or a mill for crushing grain, oats, maize, barley 
and other corn. One crushing three bushels of corn per hour is 
sold at the Cawnpore Experimental Farm for Rs. 35. 

(7) Oil-cake Crusher, by Messrs. Oakes & Co., of Madras, price 
Rs. 57. 

(8) Steel hand-mill for (/rinding wheat for whole-meal (attd), 
also barley, oats, maize, etc., by Messrs. Burn & Co. The Flour 
Dressing Machine No. 5 is said to grind and dress 30 to 45 seers 
per hour, and it is priced at Rs. 2K). 

(9) Hand-power hay-trusser. 

(10) Ghani, Kolu or Oil-mill. 

(11) Feeding troughs and hurdles. 

(12) Bone-mill and stone-grinder. 

(13) Maize-huller (Fig. 58). 

(14) Cotton-gin. The Macarthy Hand-Cotton-gin (price 
Rs. 220), obtainable of Messrs. N. D. Maxwell & Co. of Bombay, 
cleans 1401bs. of cotton in seed per diem, about one-third lint and 
two-thirds seed (according to the variety of cotton ginned) being 
obtained. The seed is not injured and it remains fit for sowing. 

(15) Sugar-cane mill, etc., to be described 
in Part III in connection with the sugar-cane 
crop. 

(16) Silos to be described in Part V in 
connection with fodder crops. 

(17) Dairy implements, to be described 
in Part V in connection with milch-cows. 

(18) Appliances for spraying or dusting 
insecticides and fungicides, to be described 
in connection with Insect and Fungus Pests. 




(20) Balances. Platform weighing- HULLRR. 

machines though highly useful for experi- 

mental farms where weighing of cattle or of cartloads of crops, 
straw, manure, etc., has to be done, are too expensive for ordinary 
agricultural use. The common scale-beam with wooden pans and 
iron weights, obtainable in bazaars, is the best for such use. As 
weights are liable to get lost if they are too frequently used, for 
daily weighings of small quantities up to SOlbs., the balance best 
adapted is the steel-yard. 

Fig. 59 represents the position of the steel-yard in which weights 
from 2 to 161bs. can be determined, as the figures marked on the 
iron-bar will show. It should be hung on something high by the 
hook nearest to the arm. The middle hook will not be used at all 
in this case. The article to be weighed is to be hung on the double 
hooks. This being done, move the weight on the arm or bar till 
it assumes a perfectly horizontal position. The figure on which 
the weight will rest will indicate the weight in pounds of the article 
weighed. Figure 60 represents the position of the same instru- 
ment reversed, in which weights from 15 to 501bs. can be determined 



138 



HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 



as is shown by the figures on the iron- bar or arm. In this case, 
the steel-yard Ls suspended by the middle hook and the hook nearest 
the arm is not used at all. 

(21) Machinery for tea, indigo, coffee and other planting 
enterprises in which European capital and intellect are employed 

are hardly necessary 

FIG. 59 .- STKBL-YAKU FOR WEIGHING to be described in a 

- .-- ^ handbook of agricul- 
ture though these sub- 
jects will receive some * 
attention in their pro- 
per places in Part III. 
The following 
implements and ma- 
chinery have been 
reported by Mr. N. N. 
Banerji as having been 
tried and found useful 
in the Sripur Farm r 
Hatwa Raj, District 
Saran : 

(1) A Steam 
Thresher, by Messrs. 
J3en, Reed & Co., 
Aberdeen, costing 
Rs. 3,500, and adapt- 
ed for threshing oats, 
wheat, barley, etc., 
and turning out 8 
maunds of grain per 
hour. 

(2) Donaldson's Patent Oil-mill, by Messrs. Jessop & Co., 
Calcutta, and costing Rs. 120, which was found more economical 
and efficient than the local Kolu, when two or three are worked 
together with the help of steam-power. 

v (3) Two and Three-Coulter Native Seed Drill worked by bul- 
locks with some training. 

(4) South Indian bullock hoes. 

(5) The Behar Indigo-Drill used for drilling oats and wheat. 

(6) Assam Cotton-Gin, which was found more efficient than 
the Country Cotton-Gin, and which is worked with treadles. 




f . STBEL-YA1U) FOR WEIGHING 
15 TO 50 tt)S. (60 RESEKVED). 



EQUIPMENT OF FARMS. 139 

CHAPTER XVIL 
EQUIPMENT OF FARMS. 

[Principles governing equipment of farms of different classes ; a typical case ; 
inferences as to capital charges and annual expenditure per acre ; outturn 
and expenditure in ordinary farming balance each other.] 

Principles stated Having described the principal agricultural 
machinery that are or may be employed with advantage in 
this country, it now remains for us to find out some principles of 
equipment that may be applied in each case. We have said 
that heavy soils require a large number of cattle and men, and 
consequently a larger number of some of the cultivating 
appliances than light soils. There is another consideration that 
will materially affect the question ot equipment, viz., the system of 
farming adopted. One labourer for two acres and one yoke of oxen 
for every five acres of heavy land, is the allowance for ordinary 
arable or mixed farming. Where gardening instead of farming 
is the system mainly employed, e.y., in market-gardening near large 
towns, where the largest outturn from the smallest area by high 
farming is the aim, the allotment for cattle and farm implements 
should be insignificant and the allotments for hand-labour, garden- 
tools (spade, hoe. rake, scissors, ddo, etc.), and manure should be 
higher. In ordinary arable farming so far as manure is concerned, 
the aim should be (1) feeding the bullocks well with oil-cake, which 
enriches the natural manure of cattle, (2) fallowing, (3) growing 
of leguminous crops, and (4) returning to the land the straw in the 
form of litter mixed with urine. But in growing special crops, 
such as tobacco, mulberry, sugar-cane and potatoes direct manur- 
ing is essential. The equipment needed in each case thus depends 
on the land chosen, the crops chosen, and the system of farming 
adopted. Jn dairy farming again, no allotment is necessary for 
manure, and proportionately less allotment is needed for bullocks, 
farm labourers, ordinary agricultural implements, but for stocking 
the land with suitable cows and one or more bulls, for providing 
fodder at all seasons, for equipping a proper dairy, special allot- 
ments are needed. Then, again, the allotment for buildings and 
implements should be proportionately higher for a small farm than 
tor a large farm. If Rs. 10 per acre is set apart for buildings, 
Rs. 10 per acre for implements, and Rs. 10 per acre for cattle, for a 
500-acre farm, and Rs. 50 per acre per annum for working the 
farm, it should be sufficient. Though Rs. 10 per acre for cattle and 
Rs. 50 per acre per annum for expenses will answer for a 10-acre farm, 
Rs. 10 per acre for buildings and Rs. 10 per acre for implements will 
hardly suffice in that case ; but a man with a 10-acre farm ought to 
work with his own hands and live cheap, and in this country such a 
man would not actually spend more than Rs. 100 for a house and 
Rs. 100 for implements. Local circumstances also determine cost. 
Tn healthy localities cheap buildings answer. In places close to 
town there are certain special facilities and disadvantages. 



140 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

In an experimental farm again, where the fodder, the dung, 
the urine, etc., have to be weighed ; where small lots of corn have to 
be separately thrashed, dried, weighed and stored, where detailed 
accounts of experiments have to be recorded, more money must be 
spent on buildings, implements, the supervising staff and labour 
force, if the experiments are to give really reliable results. Man- 
ures also must be bought in an experimental farm. For such 
a farm Rs. 20 per acre on each item instead of Rs. 10 will be needed 
and Rs. 100 per acre for annual expenditure ; while the outturn 
per acre for such a farm may come to less than Rs. 50 per acre. 

As the circumstances may thus vary almost infinitely, and as 
we shall separately estimate the cost of growing each of the princi- 
pal crops, our aim for the present will be to give a typical example, 
draw certain definite conclusions from it, and recommend the ap- 
plication of these deduced principles in each particular case, mu- 
tatis mutandis. In fact, we have already hinted what we are going 
to do, i.e., infer from a typical case of a 400-acre farm in Lower Ben- 
gal, that about Rs. 10 per acre should be allotted for buildings, 
Rs. 10 per acre for cattle, Rs. 10 per acre for implements, by way of 
capital charge, and Rs. 50 per acre by way of annual expenditure. 
If, however, the farm is very much smaller, an increased propor- 
tion for buildings and implements, and if the farm is very much 
larger, a diminished proportion for buildings and implements will 
be needed. The principle enunciated here refers only to mixed 
farms and not to gardens or plantations. 

Capital charge (1) Laying out at Rs. 10 an acre (i.e., cutting 
down trees, burning low bushes, levelling, and making roads, 
and channels), Rs. 4,000. (2) 160 bullocks at Rs. 25 (i.e., Rs. 10 
per acre), Rs. 4,000. (3) Cost of buying the principal implements, 
etc., required for a farm of 400 acres of heavy arable land like that 
of the Sibpur Farm, which are : 

Rs. 

16 Carts . . . . . . 240 

1 Water-Cart . . . . . . 100 

1 Spring-Cart for market . . . . 200 

1 Pony with harness for market . . 100 

1 Gun for killing jackals, etc. . . 100 
80 Improved ploughs . . 640 

2 Ridging ploughs . . . . 100 

4 Five-tinned grubbers . 80 

4 Zig-zag harrows . . . . 160 

4 Bakhars . . . . . . 20 

4 Wooden rollers . . 80 

8 Ladders . . . . . . 4 

4 Beam-harrows . . . . . 20 

1 American Seed-drill . . 50 

4 Wide bullock-hoes (Dundias) .. 32 

4 Narrow bullock-hoes .. fc ' 20 

8 Planet Junior Hand-hoes .. 160 



EQUIPMENT OF FARMS. 141 

Rs. 

2 Chaff-cutters . . .. ..80 

1 Corn-crusher . . . . . . 40 

1 Cake-crusher . . . . . . 100 

1 Turnip pulper . . . . . . 100 

40 dons .. . . . . 400 

Other suitable irrigation appliances, mot, 

etc. .. .. ..500 

20 Dozen hurdles . . . . . . 250 

Scales and weights for weighing up to 2 

mds. . . . . . . 20 

1 Steel-yard . . . . . . 4 * 

1 Small pair of scales and weights . . 2 

1 Grindstone, 24" diameter . . . . 20 

4 Scythes .. .. ..40 

20 Hooks or sickles . . 8 

1 Hand-thresher .. .. 200 

1 Winnower . . . . 65 

Chains, rope, bamboos, etc. .. 115 



Rs. 4,000 
i.e., Rs. 10 per acre for implements. 

Rs. 

Sheds for 100 resident labourers . . 2,000 

Covered shed for manure pits . . 200 

Shed for bullocks .. .. 300 

Barn and godown . . . . 1,000 

House for residence of Farm Overseer 500 

Rs. 4,000 
i.e., Rs. 10 per acre for sheds and godowns. 

Hedging and ditching should be done when a farm is started 
and they are included under " laying out " of the farm. The 
mere clearing of the jungle costs about Rs. 3 per acre, if the work 
is done on contract. This item is necessary only when a farm 
has to be started quite fresh from land in jungle. 

The annual expense of working the above tarm can be estimat- 
ed thus : 

Rs. 

200 labourers at Rs. 6 per month . . 14,400 
Overseer or bailiff on Rs. 50 . . 600 

Oil-cake @ 1 maund per bullock per 

month, @ Re. 1-8 per maund . . 3,000 
Rent .. .. .. 1,200 

Other expenses \ . . . . 800 

Rs. 20,000 
i.e., Us. 50 per acre. 



142 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

By ordinary farming, i.e., by cultivating rice and pulses, with 
hired labour, a capitalist cannot expect to make farming pay in 
this country. Fifteen maunds of paddy and ten maunds of pulses 
per acre are obtained and when these are sold at Rs. 2 a maund the 
yield is only Rs. 50 per acre. By judicious cropping, two crops 
can be taken every year out of the land, or one crop of double value 
such as sugar-cane, tobacco, jute, etc., or a crop which costs much 
less in cultivating, as maize, pulses, etc. But the average outturn 
per acre from mixed farming may be safely put down at Rs. 50 
and the cost also is at Rs. 50. Ordinary farming therefore just 
keeps the cultivators who are their own field labourers, and it pays 
them no better than service as a coolie. 

It is only by growing special crops, such as sugar-cane, jute, 
etc., that a capitalist or a gentleman-farmer may hope to make 
farming pay. But it is never safe to rely on one crop only, and it 
is best to choose four or five paying crops, and grow these in rota- 
tion, though the cost of growing such crops is greater. An acre of 
sugar-cane will cost in Bengal about Rs. 150 growing, but the gur 
from it may be worth Rs. 200 or more. What each principal crop 
costs and what outturn we may expect from it, is a question 
we will discuss in the next part of the handbook. 

We should mention here that one-tenth of the land should be 
set apart for roads and paths, and one-tenth for farmstead, canals, 
water-courses and irrigation channels. 



PART III. 
CROPS. 

CHAPTEE XVIII. 
BOTANICAL CLASSIFICATION OF CROPS, 

[Principal Indian crops coming under Gramme* ('yperaceae, Amaryllidaceoe, 
Liliaceae, Aroideae, Bromiliacea?, JDioseorece, Musaceie, Zingiberarese, Can 
naceac, Piperacese, Enphorbiaceye, Morete, Sesame*, Solanea\ Convolvulacese, 
Cucurbitaocae, Leguminosae, Linea?, Tiliaceae, Malvaceae, Cruciferse, 
Composites, Polygonacca?, Chenopodiacea?, Umbellifene, Urticaceye, and 
Onagracese ; Character of these crops ; soils on which each grou s. | 

Abbreviations explained : 

[Ce Cereal crop; F = Fodder ; M -Miscellaneous crop; Fb Fibre-crop ; V~ 
Vegetable crop ; R = Root-crop ; Ft = Fruit ; Sp = Spices ; O=Oil seed-crop ; 
T = Timber ; D = I)rug ; I)e = I)ye ; P = Pulse crop ; PH = Pot-herb ; Cl = clay ; 
L = Loam ; S = Sandy soil ; St = Stony soil ; Bl=Bil land.] 

THE principal agricultural crops, &c., may be thus exhibited 
under the various natural orders to which they belong : 

A. MONOCOTYLEDONS. 

(I) GRAMINE^ 

1. Paddy (Oryza sativa), Ce (Cl, L & S for Aus). 

2. Wheat (Triticum sativum), Ce (Cl & L). 

3. Barley (Hordeum hexastichum), Ce (L & S). 

4. Oats (A vena sativa), Ce & F. (L/C1., S & St). 

5. Deodhan or Juar (Andropogon sorghum), Ce & F (L S 
& St). 

6. Cheena (Panicum miliaceum), Ce & F (S). 

7. Kayon (Panicum Italicum), Ce (S). 

8. Maize (Zea mays), Ce (Cl, L & St). 

9. Shama or Bhura (Panicum frumentaceurn), Ce & F (S 
& St). 

10. Gondli (Panicum miliare), Ce (S. & St). 

11. Menjhri (Panicum psilopodeum), Ce (S. & St). 

12. Marud (Eleusine coracana), Ce (8 & St). 

13. Kodo (Paspalum scrobiculatum), Ce (S & St). 

14. Bajrd (Pennisetum typhoideum), Ce (S & St). 

15. Ulu or thatching grass (Imperata arundinacea), M (Cl 
& L). 

16. Kasha, Tchag or reed (Saccharum spontaneum), M (S). 



144 HANDBOOK OP AGRICULTURE. 

(I) GRAMINE.E contd. 

17. Sugarcane (Saccharum offieinarum), M (Cl & L). 

18. Munj (Saccharum ciliare), Fb (St). 

19. Durba (Cynodon dactylon), F (Cl). 

20. Bamboo (Bambusa arundinacea), M (Cl, & L & St). 

21. Lata-grass or para-grass (Panicum muticum), F (Cl). 

22. Era-kati (Ischsemum rugosum), F (Cl). 

23. Guinea-grass (Panicum jumentorum), F (Cl, St & L). 

24. Sper-grass (Heteropogon contortus), F (St). 

25. Koisa and Poina grasses (Andropogon Sp), M (St). 

(II) CYPERACE.E 

1. Madur Kathi (Cyperus tagetum), M (L). 

2. Chufa (Scirpus kysoor), M (Bl). 

3. Mutha grass (Cyperus rotundus), F (Cl & L). 

(III) AMARYLLIDACECE Agaves, Fb (S & St). 

(IV) LILIACE^E 

1. Onions (Allium ascalonicum), V (L). 

2. Garlic (Allium sativum), V (L). 

3. Asparagus (Asparagus officinalis), V (L). 

4. Yucca gigantea, aloifolia, and gloriosa, Fb (Cl). 

5. Dracaena ovalifolia, F. (Cl). 

6. Sansieviorias, Fb (L). 

(V) AROIDE^K 

1. Man-Kachu (Alocasia indica), R (L). 

2. Kachu (Colocasia antiquorum), R & V (L). 

3. 01 (Arum Campanulatum), R (L & S). 

(VI) BROMELIACE^E Pineapple (Ananas sativa), Ft & Fb (L). 

(VII) DIOSCOREA 

1. Kham alu (Dioscorea sativa), R (Cl & L). 

2. Ghupri &lu (Dioscorea globosa), R (Cl & L). 

3. Lai garaniya alu (Dioscorea purpurea), R (Cl & L). 

4. Sutni-alu (Dioscorea fasciculata), R (L & S). 

(VIII) MUSACE^: Plantains (Musa Sapientum), Ft & V (Cl & L). 
Manila hemp (Musa textilis), Fb (Cl & L). 

(IX) ZlNGIBERACE^: 

1. Ginger* (Zingiber officinale), Sp (L & S). 

2. Turmeric (Curcuma longa), Sp (L & S). 

3. Amada (Curcuma amada), Sp (L & S). 

4. Sathi or zedoary (Curcuma zedoaria), R (L & S). 

(X) CANNACE^E 

1. Arrowroot (Maranta arundinacea), R (L & S). 

2. Canna Edulis, R (L & S). 



BOTANICAL CLASSIFICATION OF CROPS. 145 

(B) DICOTYLEDONS. 

(XI) PIPERAC.E 

1. Betel (Piper betle), Sp (Cl & L). 

2. Long pepper (Piper longum), Sp (Cl). 

3. Chai (Piper chaba), Sp (L & S). 

4. Round pepper (Piper nigrum), Sp (Cl). 

(XII) EUPHORBIACEJE 

1. Castor (Ricinus communis), (S & St). 

2. Cassava (Manihot utilissima, and aipi), R (L & S). 

3. Ceara rubber (Manihot Glaziovii), M (St). 

4. Papaya (Carica papaya), Ft & V (Cl & St). 

(XIII) MORE^E (Mulberry) 

1. Morea alba, F and Ft (Cl & St). 

2. Morea serrata, F, T and Ft (Cl & St). 

3. Morea nigra, Ft (Cl & St). 

(XIV) SESAMES Sesamum, gingelly or til (Sesamum indicum), 

(S & L). 

(XV) SOLANE.E 

1. Potatoes (Solanum tuberosum), R (L & S). 

2. Brinjals (Solanum melongena), V (L & S). 

3. Kulibegun and baromeshe begun (Solanum longum), V 

(L & S). 

4. Chillies (Capsicum frutescens), Sp (L, St & S). 

5. Teepari or Cape Gooseberry (Physalis peruviana), Ft 
(C & L). 

6. Tomato (Loycopersicum esculentum), V (Cl & L), 

7. Tree- tomato or Java plum (Cyphomandra betacea), Ffc 
(St & L). 

8. Tobacco (Nicotina rustica & Nicotana tabacum), D (L), 

(XVI) CONVOLVULACE^E Rdnga-alu, sddd-alu (Batatus edulis). 

R (S & L). 

(XVII) CUCURBITACE^) 

1. Ldu (Lagenaria vulgaris), V (S & L). 

2. Kumrd, biliti and deshi (Cucurbita maxima and pepo), 
V (S & L). 

3. Uchhe (Momordica muricata), V (S & L). 

4. Jhinga (Luffa acutangula), V (S & L). 

5. Dhundul (Luffa ^Egyptiaca), V (S & L). 

6. Tarmuj (Citrulus vulgaris), Ft (S). 

7. Khero (round cucumber), V (S & L). 

8. Shasha (ordinary cucumber), (Cucumis sativus) V and Ft 
(Cl & L). 

9. Phuti (Cucumis momordica), Ft (S & L). 

10. Gomukh (Cucumis maderaspatanus), V (S). 

11. K&nkri or b&khari (Cucumis utilissimus), V (S). 

12. K&nkrol (Momordica CochincEinensis), V (St & L). 
M, HA 10 



146 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

(XVII) CUCURBITACE^E contd. 

13. Karala (Momordica charantia), V (S & L). 

14. Chichinga (Trichosanthes anguina), V (S & L). 

15. Fatal (Trichosanthes dioica), V (S). 

16. Kundruki (Trichosanthes diseca), V & Ft (L & St). 

(XVIII) LEGUMINOS.E 

1. Peas (Pisum arvense), P (L & S). 

2. English peas (Pisum sativum), V (L). 

3. Payra Matar (Pisum quadratus), P (L & Cl). " 

4. Kaldi (Phaseolus radiatus), P (S & Cl). 

5. Mug (Phaseolus Mungo), P (L & Cl). 

6. Gram (Cicer arietinum), P (Cl & L). 

7. Musuri (Ervum lens), P (Cl & L). 

8. Khesari (Lathyrus sativus), P (Cl & L). 

9. Arahar (Cajanus indicus), P (Cl). 

10. Rambha and Barbati (Vigna catiang), P & V (Cl & St). 

11. Sunn-hemp (Crotolaria juncea), Fb (S). 

12. Indigo (Indigofera tinctoria), De(S&L). 

13. Dhaincha (Sesbania aculeata), Fb (Cl). 

14. Sajna (Moringa pterygosperma), V (Cl & St). 

15. Bhringi (Phaseolus aconitifolius), P & F (Cl & L). 

16. Kulthi (Dolichos biflorus), P & F (S & St). 

17. Arharia Sim (Cyamopsis psoralioides), F & V (Cl, L & S). 

18. Ground-nut (Arachis hypogea), (S). 

19. Babul (Acacia arabica), F, T & De (Cl & St). 

20. Palas (Butea frondosa), M (Cl & St). 

21. Bakld (Vicia faba), P (L). 

22. Sim (Dolichos lablab), P & V (Cl & L). 

23. Makhan Sim (Canavalia gladiata), V (Cl & L). 

24. Sola (Aeschynomena aspera), M (Bl). 

25. Tamarind (Tamarindas indica), S (Cl & St). 

26. Soy Bean (Glycine soja), V (S & St). 

27. Sank-alu (Pachyrhizus angulatus), R (L). 

(XIX) LINE.E Linseed (Linum usitatissimum), (L & C). 

(XX) TILIAC^E 

1. Sirajgunj Jute (Corchorus capsularis), Fb & P H (Cl & L). 

2. Deshi Jute (Corchorus olitorius), Fb (Cl & L). 

(XXI) MALVACEAE 

1. Cotton, or Kdpas (Gossypium herbaceum & arboreum), 
Fb (L,S & St). 

2. Silk-Cotton or Simul (Bombax malabaricum), Fb (Cl & St). 

3. Musk-mallow (Hibiscus abelmoschus), Fb and D (S & L). 

4. Ambari hemp or mestd-pdt (Hibiscus cannabinus), Fb 
(S&L). ' 

5. Roselle or mesta (Hibiscus sabdariffa), V (Cl & L). 

6. Bhindi or Ladies' finger (Hibscus esculSntus), V (Cl & L & S). 



ECONOMIC CLASSIFICATION OF CROPS. 147 

(XXII) CRUCIFER^S 

1. Mustard (Brassica campestris and juncea), (S & L). 

2. Cabbages, Cauliflower and Kohl rabi (Brassica oleracea), 
V (Cl & S L). 

3. Turnips (Brassica napa), V (L & S). 

4. Radishes (Raphanus sativus), V (L & S). 

5. Taramani (Eruca sativa), (L & Cl). 

(XXIII) COMPOSITE 

1. Sunflower (Helianthus annuus), (L & S). 

2. Artichoke (Cynara scolymus), V (S & L). 

3. Jerusalem artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus), V (S). 

4. Safflower (Carthamus tinctorius), & De (S). 

5. Lettuce (Lactuca sativa), V (L & S). 

6. Sorguja or Niger (Guizotia abyssinica), (S & St). 

(XXIV) POLYGONACE^E Buck-wheat (Fagopyrum esculentum) 

Ce (S & St). 

(XXV) CHENOPODIACE^E 

1. Beet and mangold (Beta vulgaris), V & F (L & S). 

2. Palam (Beta bengalensis), P H (L). 

3. Chukapdlam (Rumex vesicaris), P H (L). 

(XXVI) UMBELLIFER.E 

1. Carrot (Daucus carota), V (S & L). 

2. Celery (Apium graveolens), V & Sp (L). 

3. Coriander (Coriandum sativum), Sp (L & S). 

4. Anise (Pimpinella anisum), Sp (L & S). 

(XXVII) URTICACE^ 

1. Rhea (Bcehmeria nivea), Fb (Cl). 

(XXVIII) ONAGRACE^ 

1. Water-nut or Singhdrd (Trapa bispinosa), Ft (Bl). 



CHAPTER XIX. 

ECONOMIC CLASSIFICATION OF CROPS. 

[Indian cereals, pulses, oil-seeds, fibres, dyes, drugs, spices, table -vegetables, 
pot-herbs, fruits, fodder-crops, roots, timber trees, and miscellaneous 
irops.] 

CROPS are divided into 

1) Cereals (Ce), e.g., rice, wheat, buck-wheat, millets, maize, etc. 

(2) Pulses (P), e.g., gram, peas, lentils, horsegram (kulthi), 
pigeon-pea (arahar), cow-pea (barbati), etc. 

(3) Oil-seeds (0), e.g., rapeseed, -mustard, linseed, gingelly, 
mger-oil-seed, castor, ground-nut, bhela (Semecarpus anacardium), 
kurunja (Galedupa indica) and pittaraj (Amoora rohituka), etc. 



148 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

(4) Fibres (Fb), e.g., jute, sunn-hemp, cotton, musk-mallow, 
munj-grass, aloe (Agave lurida and other agaves), Manila hemp, 
(Musa textilis), Mauritius hemp (Furcresea gigantea), rhea, ulat- 
kambal (Abroma augusta), etc. 

(5) Dyes (De.), e.g., indigo, safflower, arnatto (Bixa orellana), 
palds, haritaki (Terminalia chebula), bahera (Terminalia belerica), 
dmlaki (Phyllanthus emblica), aich or al (Morinda citrifolia), etc. 

(6) Drugs (D), e.g., Cinchona officinalis, Plantago ovata (Ishap- 
gul), Acorus calamus (bach), tea (Camellia theifera), Coffea arabica, 
Nicotiana rustica and tabacum, Papaver somniferum, Cannabis 
sativa, Datura metel, etc. 

(7) Spices (Sp), e.g., turmeric, ginger, dmddd, chillies, onions, 
garlic, coriander seed, jira (Cuminum cyminum), anise, fenugreek 
(Trigonella fcenumgraecum), rddhuni (Apium graveolens), tejpdtd 
(Laurus cassia), sulpa (Fumaria parviflora), peepul, pdn, chai, keya- 
phul (Pandanus odoratissimus), cardamom (Amomum subulatum), 
mint (Mentha arvensis), supdri, etc. 

(8) Table- vegetables (V), e.g., potatoes, brinjals, radishes, 
yams, gourd, pumpkin (Deshi-kumra), bottle gourd (Ldu), snake- 
gourd (Chichingd), ladies' finger, country figs or dumbur (Ficus 
cunia), roselle, beans, arums, Indian horse-radish, tomato, cabbage, 
cauliflower, knol-kol, turnip, carrot, beet, lettuce, artichoke, Jeru- 
salem artichoke, palval, asparagus, etc., etc. 

(9) Pot-herbs or sags (PH), e.g., Indian Spinach or Puinsag 
(Basella alba and rubra), Kalmi-sdg (Ipomsea serpiaria), Champd- 
note sdg (Amarantus polygamus), Gobra note (Amarantus lividus), 
Dengos&g (Amarantus giganticus), Palam, Betosag (Chenopodium 
viride), Helancha sag (Hingcha repens), Sushni sag (Marselia 
quadrifolia), etc. 

(10) Miscellaneous crops (M), such as, sugar-cane, Madurkdti, 
bamboo, Ulu, Supari (Areca catechu), mulberry, asan (Terminalia 
tomentosa), cucumber, melons, chufa (Scirpus kysoor), Sank-alu, 
date (Phoenix sylvestris), sago (Caryota urens), etc. 

(11) Fruits (F), e.g., Mango (Mangifera indica), cocoanut 
(Cocos nucifera), Papaya (Carica papaya), Cashew nuts (Anacar- 
dium occidentale), jack (Artocarpus integrifolia), etc. 

(12) Fodder crops (F), e.g., Guinea-grass, spear-grass, sugar- 
sorghum, Sorghum halipense, lata-grass, Reana luxurians, Bhringi, 
etc. 

(13) Yams, potatoes, turnips, arrowroot, cassava, cauliflower, 
cabbages, beet, carrots, etc., are sometimes called root-crops (R). 
Cucumbers, melons and water-nuts may be classed also as fruits 
as they can be eaten raw. 

(14) Timber trees (T) can be hardly classed as agricultural 
crops, but the B&bul timber, being largely used for making agricul- 
tural appliances, and the fruits and leaves of this tree being in com- 
mon use for feeding cattle, are largely grown by cultivators. 

(15) Sandal- wood, Rosa grass and Poina grass yielding valu- 
able essences are protected in the wild state, though not cultivated. 



CHEMICAL COMPOSITION OF PRINCIPAL CROPS. 



H9 



CHAPTER XX. 
CHEMICAL COMPOSITION OF THE PRINCIPAL CROPS. 

[Considered under the six heads moisture, albuminoids carbohydrates, fibres, 
fat and ash. Average composition of the commonest food-substances com- 
pared with that of agricultural crops ; variability of composition chiefly of 
green and succulent.] 

THE chemical composition of crops is usually considered under 
six heads, viz., (1) Water, (2) Albuminoid or flesh-forming matter, 
(3) Carbohydrates or heat-forming matter, (4) Fibre, (5) Fat and 
(6) Ash. Of these the albuminoids and the fat make the richest 
food. Carbohydrates though less concentrated, are also highly 
digestible. ' Fibres are more or less digested by ruminant animals, 
but in large quantity, they are not an economical component of 
food-substances. The ash constituents of plants are not altogether 
useless, though in estimating the feeding value of a crop, these 
may usually be neglected. The bones and the ash constituents 
generally of the animal frame are derived from the ash constituents 
of plants, and hence they have a great value. Before giving the 
chemical composition of the principal crops it is best to give at the 
outset the composition of the principal articles of food and fodder as a 
guide for judging the value of all food-substances and fodders. 

Average composition of the commonest food-substances. 











t 








Water. 


Albumi- 
noids. 


Carbohy- 
drates. 


Fibre. 


Fat, 


Ash. 


Flesh 


68'5 


20-4 


Ml 


Xil 


10 


1-1 


Fish 


82'6 


15'8 


Ml 


Ml 


4 


1-2 


Flour 


12*5 


11-3 


74'6 


Ml 


ri 


5 


Average cereal 
Average pulse 
Potatoes ... 


11-7 
10 
77'9 


9-1 
24 
2-1 


71-2 
52-5 
18 


3 

7 
1 


3 
3*5 
1 


2 
3 
9 


Turnips 
Cabbages . . . 
Paddy straw 
Oil-cake 


91-7 
89-5 
8-1 
10-2 


1-1 
1-5 
T8 
40-7 


5'3 

7 
40-6 
23'8 


1 
I'l 
30-0 

[ w 


*2 
1 
2-1 

Irs 


'7 
8 
16'8 
6*9 



Variability of Composition. The composition of grain and seeds 
is tolerably constant, but that of straw, leaves, roots and 
tubers, varies very considerably according to the variety, soil, 
manure and season. The same variety of wheat, rice, maize or 
any other grain or seed, has about the same composition, )>ut dif- 
ferent varieties often differ very much in composition. The hill 
rices, for instance, contain much more fat than the ordinary rices. 
With regard to fodders, the chemical composition differs very much 
according as the crops are cut in a mature or immature condition, 
and also according to the process of drying they afterwards under- 



150 



HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 



go. Too much exposure to sun impoverishes them considerably. 
The results of analyses of the principal fodders, grains, etc., are given 
in the following pages : 







i - 




OB cJ 






c 






15 


09 


+& 


a? 




be 






+* 

OS 


*o 


45 ^ 







2 




2 


s 


a 


> ^ 


cC 




32 






S 


's 


^= 


* 




a 




1 


Is 





| 


O 

o 


-5 


1 




s 


c 


< 


Q" 





< 




1. Fresh juar, 


56-10 


254 


3*10 


20-65 


15-32 


4 '83 


56 


1st cutting 
















(October). 
















2. Fresh juar, 


63'7 / 


4-07 


1-54 


18-50 


1035 


5*81 


41 


cut in March 
















(2nd cutting). 
















3. Dry juar 


Nil. 


5-78 


7-06 


4704 


34-90 


n-oo 


1-28 


(1st cutting). 
















4. Dry jnar 


Nil. 


11-24 


4-25 


51-06 


28-56 


16-13 


1-15 


(2nd cutting). 
















5a. Fresh deo- 


67*02 


1-6 


64 


16*42 


12-78 


3-14 


1-73 


dhdn judr, 
















reaped ripe. 
















56. Do. (dry.) 


Nil. 


4-85 


1-94 


4978 


38-75 


9-52 


1-05 


6. Commis- 


11-07 


6-7-2 


2-69 


45-40 


3207 


8-77 


47 


sariat hay. 
















7, Ordinary 


9-81 


12-01 


1-54 


39-39 


34-58 


14-68 


26 


hay (grass 
















cut ripe). 
















8. Do. (grass 


9*23 


> 10-06 


2-46 


44-16 


31-75 


12-40 


41 


cut tender 
















and green). 
















9. English hay 


15 


*2* 


10 


44- 


26- 


6- 


1-5 


10. Sorghum 


70-96 . 


*2'2 


1*12 


12-14 


12-57 


3-5-2 


18 


halipense 
















(reaped 
















green). 
















11. Sorghum 


67-02 


1-6 


1-06 


1 (i '42 


1-2-78 


3-14 


17 


halipense 
















(reaped ripe). 
















12. Deodhan 


9-96 


63 


766 


77-84 


2'24 


2-30 


1-26 


or juar grain. 








(including 
















3-40% of 
oil). 








13. Juar 


10-79 


6-94 


2-24 


51-57 


25-42 


998 


48 


bhusa. 
















14. Wheat 


7-56 


11-77 


2-37 


43-06 


34-68 


12-33 


50 


bhusa. 
















15, Barley 


7-93 


6-25 


4-00 


41-45 


34-82 


11 '80 


85 


bhusa. 
















16. Oat bhusa. 


9-53* 


5-81 


1-37 


43-48 


36-09 


9-53 


35 


17. Gram 


10-11 


9-30 


4-46 


38-84 


27-63 


18-96 


1-00 


bhusa. 
















18. Arahar 


6 '58 


8-37 


7-39 


45-74 


25-69 


14-60 


1-5 


bhusa. 
















19. Pea bhusa. 


9-88 


5-73 


994 


42-83 


22-27 


15-08 


2 


20. Peas ... 


14*3 




22-4 


54-5 


64 


24 












including 
















2% of oil). 








21. Oats " .. 


13-0 




129 


'598 


10-8 


3'5 












(including 
















6% of oil) 








22. Wheat . 


14-4 




11-3 


69-6 


3-0 


1-7 












including 
















1-5% of oil). 


t 







AGRICULTURAL STATISTICS. 



151 







09 

"O 





c3 








| Moisture. 


Albuminoi 


1 


o?' G 





1 


23. Barley 


14-0 


10-6 


2-0 


63-7 


7-1 


26 


24. Maize 


11-0 


10-5 


51 


68-5 


3-0 


1'fr 


25. Wheat straw 


14-3 


3- 


1-5 


32'6 


44-0 


*& 


26. Rice 


14-5 


6-5 


0-5 


76-00 


1-50 


17 


27. Potatoes 


75-0 


2-1 


3 


20-5 


M 


1-0 


28. Turnips 


91-7 


1-1 


2 


5-3 


1-0 


0-7 


29. Drumhead Cabbage 
(inner leaves) 


89-42 


1-50 


0-08 


7-01 


1-14 


0-85 


30 Carrot 


84-0 


3-2 




7-2 


3-1 


2-5 


31. Mangold 


90-0 


2-0 


... 


3-8 


2-6 


1-6 


32. Linseed 


7-50 


24-44 


34-00 


... 


30-73 


3-33 


33a. Rapeseed ... 


7-13 


20-50 


36-81 


18-73 


6-86 


8'97 


33ft. Do. 


7*12 


18-00 


41-33 


23-26 


5-66 


4'63 


34. Cotton Seed 


6-57 


22-60 


31-24 




32-72 


6-37 


35. Lentils (musuri) 


13-00 


24-00 


2* 


46-50 


10-00 


2T> 


36. Beans 


14-5 


23-00 




47*7 


10-00 


3-8 



CHAPTER XXI. 

AGRICULTURAL STATISTICS. 

[Uncultivated and cultivated areas; Area and yield under different crops; 
Relative importance of crops in Bengal ] 

Uncultivated Land. Agricultural statistics for India are still 
on the whole in an unreliable condition ; those of the Native 
States being more unreliable than of British India. Indeed, very 
few Native States send in any returns. Still a good beginning has 
been made, and the figures, even regarded as mere estimates, are 
getting more and more reliable. With these remarks kept in view, 
the following figures compiled from the Agricultural Statistics for 
India for 1906-07 will be found interesting. The area of all Asiatic 
possessions of Great Britain, including India, is 1,100,800,000 acres. 
The area of British India professionally surveyed is 554,234,736 
acres. The area under forests in British India is 67,136,162 acres. 
The area not available for cultivation in British India is 138,373,825 
acres. The culturable waste in British India is estimated at 



152 



HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 



103,395,256 acres, to which may be added 10,550,759 acres in the 
few Native States like Mysore, Jaipur, Gwalior, etc., which submit 
returns. The area of fallow land in British India is estimated at 
36,908,596 acres, and in the few Native States already mentioned 
4,261,151 acres. 

Cultivated Land- The cropped area in British India is estimated 
at 208,901,314 acres, and in the Native States mentioned 
15,002,673 acres, of which the irrigated areas are 34,244,590 acres 
and 2,125,202 acres respectively. 

Arta undtr tht principal crops. The areas under the principal crops 
in British India in 1903-04 were : 



Name of crop. 




Acreage 


Average yield 
per acre. 








Ib. 


Rice 




73,541,128 


1,000 


Wheat 




25,137,982 


816 


Barley 


.. 


7,700,100 


922 


Jowar 


1 1 


20,781,722 


686 


Bajra 




15,033,742 


550 


Ragi 


.. 


3,567,712 


873 


Maize 




6.171,751 


1,000 


Gram 




13,293,149 


642 


Sugar-cane (gur) 




2,456.861 


2,575 


Coffee 




96,050 


336 


Tea 


.. 


505,417 


480 


Linseed 




2,514,861 


480 


Sesamum (til . . . 




3,908,376 


312 


Rape and Mustard 
Fodder Crops . . . 




4,231,479 
4,547,733 


466 
16,000 


Cotton 


. 


13,771,214 


130 (lint). 


Jute 




3,523,558 


1,200 


Indigo 




448,594 


15 


Opium 


f _ 


614,915 


25 


Tobacco 


- 


1,009.210 


1,600 



In Bengal the important crops stand in the following order of 
precedence in point of area : rice, oil-seeds, jute, maize, wheat 
sugar-cane, mania (ragi) and tobacco. In Southern India, jowar 
or cholum occupies the second place next to rice, and in many parts 
of Southern India, either jowar, or bajra, or ragi, occupies the first 
place, either one or the other grain being the staple food of the peo- 
ple, instead of rice. In some districts mulberry, chillies, sunn-hemp, 
pan, potatoes, palval, brinjals, onions, turmeric, ginger, English 
table- vegetables, * thatching grass, bamboo, mango, jack, date, 
papaya, plantains, supari, cocoanut, rubber trees, are grown as 
crops and occupy extensive areas. Agave and rubber plantations 
have been started in many places, and the latter are likely to rank as 
crops of considerable importance in South India. Lac-growing and 
sericulture will be also treated in this book as agricultural 
industries. 



SYSTEM OF FARMING. 153 

CHAPTER XXII. 

SYSTEMS OF FARMING. 

[Demonstration farms ; Exchange of seed ; Selection of seed ; Seed-farms ; JMH 
cultivation ; Mixed crops ; Farming and planting ; Farming by middle- 
class men ; The one-crop system ; Bare-fallowing system ; Green-crop- 
fallowing system ; Prout's plan ; All-stock-and-no-crop system ; Irrigation 
system ; Mixed farming ; Market-gardening ; Dairy-farming ; Fruit- 
farming.] 

Demonstration of bost mtthods of farming. The agricultural resources 
of India may be said to be more or less in an undevel- 
oped condition. The large variety of crops that may be raised 
and the quantity in which they can be raised, are not to be judged 
by those actually grown and the average outturns obtained. In 
places, here and there, excellent crops are raised, and great care is 
given. The crops of rice and sugar-cane obtained in the district of 
Burdwan, of tobacco at Petlad north of Baroda, of onions, lucerne 
and carrots obtained at Veraval, in Kathiawar, are as good as any 
obtained in any part of the world. Some castes are habitually 
more intelligent and industrious than others, but the average yield 
of crops is very poor. The demonstration farms that are being 
established in different parts of the country will do well to secure 
the services of the best cultivators in the country in various depart- 
ments, and demonstrate the best methods practised in the country. 
This cannot be done without the help of science. One system of 
cropping, irrigation, or manuring is not applicable everywhere, 
but the scientific agriculturist can easily see what has proved so 
successful in one place, can prove successful under similar conditions 
elsewhere. Every crop, or every method is not suitable for every 
demonstration farm, but some can be chosen for each farm by the 
scientific agriculturist. What is best for each district and division 
has to be found out by experienced agriculturists, and such alone 
adhered to, to the exclusion of others. No centralised policy will 
answer in the case of agriculture. Saltpetre may prove to be an 
excellent manure for paddy in Surat, but it may not be a suitable 
manure for this crop in the regions of heavy rainfall in Bengal. 
Egyptian cotton is an excellent staple for Sind, where irrigation 
is readily available and where the climate is dry and the soil sandy, 
but it will not do to grow this cotton all over the country. We can- 
not 'dogmatise for all places in India, that so many irrigations (or 
any irrigation at all) are needed for sugar-cane and potatoes. In 
one place ten and even twenty irrigations may be required, and in 
others none at all. Distribution of seeds and advice from a com- 
mon source in India, or even in each province in India, would not 
answer for each part. Each division, nay each district, should have 
its agricultural farm and bureau, where the crops and method 
suitable for that division or district are to be studied, and seed and 
information distributed thence to the cultivators of the division or 
district. Each area with similar soil and climatic conditions has 
to be separately dealt with, and the system of farming best suited 



154 HANDBOOK OP AGRICULTURE. 

for it judged by men who have experience of crops and conditions 
in other districts, divisions and provinces of India. The agricul- 
ture organization of India is shaping to this end, but the scheme, 
as indicated here, is too vast to be at once realised. A great deal 
of time and patience will be required, and the money that should 
be spent to attain this end bears no comparison J;o what is being 
spent at present. 

Choice of site. It is a great mistake to choose for demonstration 
farms, sites with exceptional favourable environments, such as 
very fertile soil, presence of a canal, close proximity to a good 
market, etc. A private farmer should seek all these conditions. 
An educational farm may also be favourably situated. An experi- 
mental farm may require certain special facilities to be present for 
the purpose of special experiments, e.g., of a canal for irrigation 
experiments. But for a demonstration farm the object aimed at 
should be the removal or avoidance of a certain felt defect. There 
are large tracts of land even in such districts as Nadia, Murshidabad 
and Birbhum, that are lying without cultivation. Ask the culti- 
vators why these are lying without cultivation, and they will at 
once say, they cannot be cultivated. Demonstration farms should 
be set up in these tracts to show that these lands can be improved 
and brought under cultivation. The effect of such demonstration 
will be practical ; these lands will be taken up by raiyats and culti- 
vated, if they see the demonstration farm methods are successful. 
Some of these lands are too sandy. These may be improved by 
the cultivation of ground-nut. Some have too much iron and are 
too hard. These may be proved by growing trees on them by dig- 
ging holes in which manure may be put. Some have too much 
common salt or soda salt. These might be drained and improved 
further by planting of Babul or other trees. Some are too dry 
for the ordinary crops of the locality, rice, jute, etc. These 
may be utilized for growing cotton, agaves, etc. The effect of 
such demonstrations will be of benefit to zemindars in the first 
instance and the members of each District and Divisional Agricul- 
tural Association should start small demonstration farms in 
such unfavourable situations under the expert advice of the Agri- 
cultural Department. For demonstration farms to grow good 
crops, where raiyats also get good crops and feel no want, is useless. 
* ' Nothing succeeds like success ' ' is the valueless excuse that may 
be pointed out in selecting particularly good sites for demonstra- 
tion farms, but the ' ' success ' ' of such farms is of no practical 
value. Utilization for agriculture of such lands as are not at pre- 
sent utilized for any good purpose, should be one principal aim of 
demonstration farms. 

Exchange. By the advocating of a local system as opposed to 
a centralised system of dissemination of agricultural informa- 
tion, it is not meant that exchange of seed between one division 
and another, or even between one province or country and another, 



SYSTEM OF FARMING. 155 

should not be constantly practised. Indeed, whether in the case 
of indigo, or potatoes, or paddy, or silkworms, or lac, exchange of 
seed has been found to be of the greatest benefit. But the theories 
underlying exchange must be understood, or else the exchange 
instead of giving good results, will give poorer results. For the 
hot weather, seed should be obtained from a hotter place. For a 
dry season, or for dry land seed should be procured from a dry 
region. For the cold weather, seed should be obtained from a cooler 
place. In the hot weather in Bengal, silkworm seed from Europe 
or from Mysore is likely to fail, while in cold weather they are likely 
to do well. For the hot weather one should go to a warmer place 
for seed. For sandy soil, seed from clay soil should be obtained 
from time to time. 

Selection. It is not meant that selection should not be practised 
pari passu with exchange. Selection means selection of good 
points and good individuals. Out of a thousand heads, if one or 
two show an unusually large number of grain, these heads should 
be reserved for seed. If out of a thousand plants some show an 
unusual tendency for tillering these should be reserved for seeding. 
These tendencies may be further stimulated by special systems 
of cultivation. Spacing and hoeing are the two best methods for 
increasing these tendencies. 

Seed-farms. There should arise in fact in the different divi- 
sions and provinces of India, seed-farms pursuing similar methods 
of selection and of culture, as are followed in the civilized countries 
of the West. Exchange of seed may take place among the various 
seed-farms. Seed-farms should not go in for pampering the crops 
with excessive manuring, as the use of seed grown with too much 
manure is likely to give, under ordinary treatment, poorer, rather 
than better results. By better spacing, by deep cultivation and 
more constant hoeing, the habits of the plants will be altered and 
they will become deeper rooted. These general remarks apply to 
plants and animals, both. Selecting plants and animals with 
specially good points, weeding out all that do not show such 
points in a marked degree, tending them in a special manner, 
will cost the farmer more money than under the ordinary 
system, and seed therefore cannot be sold at the same price as ordi- 
nary grain or stock. The cultivators of this country will grudge 
paying twice or four times the value of ordinary grain for seed, 
and for the present it will be difficult for private capitalists to start 
seed-farms. But there is no reason why each Divisional Agricul- 
tural Association should not patronise one seed-farm to begin with, 
and thus create a demand for good seed among cultivators. 

Various systems of farming. From the Jum cultivation practised 
by some of the hill-tribes of the Sonthal Parganas and the 
hills of Eastern Bengal and Assam, to the one-crop-system prac- 
tised by planters, there are an immense variety of systems of farm- 
ing in vogue in this country. The hill-tribes aim at obtaining their 



156 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

means of subsistence with the least trouble; the planters aim at 
obtaining the largest value off their land. The hill-tribes of Garo, 
Khasia, Chittagong and Rajmehal Hills are accustomed to hacking 
down trees, making holes in the ground, and sowing several kinds 
of seed without using cattle or regular implements of cultivation. 
Rahar, maize, jowar, mestd-pdt, mestd cow-pea, cotton, Italian millet, 
til, aus paddy, cucumber, country beans and pumpkin are some of 
the crops, the seeds of which are put in the holes, and the crops har- 
vested as they get ready. On the virgin soils of forests, the result 
obtained is by no means bad. But the system is quite barbarous, 
and on ordinary soils it gives very poor results. Terracing of hill- 
sides, clearing and levelling them, and growing crops by civilized 
methods of cultivation are not very easy for hill-side places, and 
yet advanced nation like the Japanese and Italians, cultivate their 
hill-sides up to the very top. The special objection to jumming 
consists in special methods of cultivation adapted for different 
crops not being possible where so many crops are grown together. 
They are left to nature without harrowing and without weeding, 
and the return is poor. Santals, Kols and Beharies, though in- 
dustrious cultivators using both ploughs and plough-bullocks, 
are still addicted to the growing of mixed crops. Ordinarily 
mixed crops should be avoided, though a few mixtures, such as 
rahar with castor or cotton, and mustard with peas are found 
remunerative to grow together. In the cotton-districts proper of 
Western India, even cotton is grown by itself though cotton is pro- 
bably benefited by a little shade, such as is afforded by rahar or 
castor. In the case of peas and mustard, mustard seed should be 
sown first, and after a fortnight the pea seed. In this case the mus- 
tard affords means of climbing to the peas, and is itself perhaps bene- 
fited by the root-nodules of the peas. In other cases the value 
of the mixed crops does not come up to the value of each crop grown 
singly. Mixed crops besides are apt to result in mixture of grains 
which are very much objected to by exporters. 

Farming and Planting. Such crops as tea, opium, coffee, indigo, 
mulberry, round-pepper, sugar-cane, tobacco, etc., which are of 
exceptional value and which respond specially to a large outlay 
of capital, are best suited for planting enterprise. Planting 
differs from farming proper, inasmuch as it is concerned with the 
growing of one valuable crop only. Gardening, on the other hand, 
differs from both, inasmuch as the methods, the tools, the manures, 
used in gardening, are different from those used in farming or plant- 
ing. A planter is a one-crop farmer. A gardener usually grows a 
great many crops and flowers. But his aim is not to get the maxi- 
mum amount of nourishing food at the smallest expenditure of 
capital, but rather to produce the best size, shape, flavour, in fruits, 
flowers and vegetables, by expensive and highly careful methods 
of work. The farmer aims at doing without manures, as much as 
possible, at keeping up the fertility of his lancf simply by feeding 



SYSTEM OF FARMING. 157 

his cattle with nourishing oil-cakes and utilizing all the cattle dung 
urine and litter in manuring his fields. By growing leguminous 
crops and by adopting a judicious system of rotation, he also tries 
to avoid the purchase of manures. The farmer's methods of culti- 
vation are of a wholesale character. He does not aim at straight 
lines and neat curves, al absolute freedom from weeds, all of which 
are attainable by the use of hand tools and at a great cost. By 
judicious crossing and hybridizing, by budding and grafting, and 
similar methods, the gardener attains exceptional results at a great 
cost ; and yet gardening pays near large and rich towns, where 
there are always people who are ready to pay a large price for a 
particularly fine pineapple, where the value of articles is not judged 
from quantity and intrinsic merit in the shape of nourishmeht, but 
from bloom, flavour, look and size. The gardener does not, as a 
rule, trouble himself with rotation, nor does the planter, but the 
latter growing only one crop has no choice in the matter, while the 
former usually grows far too many things in small patches on land 
for which he pays a very high rent, to be able to choose a definite 
course of rotation, or to adopt the methods in general use in farms. 
Then there are various kinds of gardens. In tea-gardens, though 
garden-tools (spades, rakes, forks, etc.) are in use, the one-crop 
system makes them partake of the nature of plantations. Then 
there are gardens which are laid out once for all, such as flower- 
gardens and orchards, and also tea-gardens ; while market- 
gardens have to be laid out at least twice a year. A garden, which 
contains mainly perennial plants, and which is once laid out at a 
great initial cost, does not cost any more keeping up than a farm. 
One labourer can look after two to three acres of garden land as of 
farm land. But market-gardening costs a great deal more in 
labour. Even one labourer per acre is not sufficient for every 
kind of market-gardening, though a mixed garden, where English 
vegetables, sugar-cane, green maize, etc., are grown, can be worked 
with one labourer per acre, if some farm appliances and bullocks 
are kept. In tea-gardens, where no farm implements, such as 
ploughs and bullock-hoes -are used two labourers are considered 
necessary to properly work every acre of land. In planting and 
farming, animal and other powers are utilized as much as possible 
while in gardening hand-power is the mainstay. 

The single-crop system, however remunerative at first, is liable 
to end in failure sooner or later. Competition brings down prices, 
increases wages and diminishes profit : the land gets exhausted for 
this special crop : special insect and fungus parasites accumulate : 
and the proprietor or the manager understanding only the handling 
of this special crop thoroughly, sticks to it to the very last and is 
unable to take to anything else for want of experience and for fear 
of losing more, until the crop fails entirely. 

Middle-class men going in for farming should go in for mixed 
cropping, which gives rest to land if a judicious system of rotation 
is adopted. They should not say, " We will go in for dairying, 



158 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

or for tea, or vanilla, or coif ee, or banana, or sugar-cane, or rice. ' J 
They should go in for as many things as have a good local sale. 
They must proceed tentatively, i.e., at first grow only such things 
as they can consume at home, or what they require for the consump- 
tion of the members of their family, for their servants and their 
farm animals. That is the market ready for them. They should 
grow only such crops at first as are ordinarily grown in the locality, 
though superior staples and better methods and appliances may be 
introduced from the very first. Then they can extend the culti- 
vation of anything that they find they can grow particularly well 
on their land, or which suits their tastes and fancies best. If they 
come to find that cows are doing very well under their management, 
that they understand them, and that they would like to keep more 
of them, they must give dairying some prominence, and begin sell- 
ing milk and butter and bullocks and bulls. If they find goat- 
breeding does well and that they would like keeping more goats, 
they should extend this branch of their farming, though at first 
they should keep only just as many goats as they require for sup- 
plying meat to their family and perhaps some of their neighbours. 
In this way they should advance from supplying the needs of their 
own family, to supplying the needs of their friends and neighbours, 
and then supplying the general market. It is easier and more lucra- 
tive to create a special market for produce which shows any special- 
ity. Bearing the above general principle in mind, one should de- 
termine the system of farming he is to follow eventually which must 
be governed very much by local circumstances. 

The principal systems of farming may be enumerated as fol- 
lows : 

(1) The one-crop system. Growing the same crop year after 
year on the same land without manure is the common system of 
this country. The Jethro Tull system is only a slight departure 
from this, the land being cultivated deep and well. Deep cultiva- 
tion and hoeing are not, however, in vogue in India. The one-crop 
system suits only a new tract of country. But sooner or later the 
land gets exhausted. In settling in the Sunderbans, one finds the 
one-crop system of growing rice only pays best. But as time goes 
on the system must be altered. 

(2) Bare-fallowing system. According to this system no 
manure is used, and no crop is grown on a particular field once in 
three, four, five or six years. In some parts of this country poor 
land under the utbandi system of tenancy is bare-fallowed for two 
or three years successively after two or three years successive crop- 
ping. The Lois Weedon system is an ingenous variation of the bare- 
fallow system, according to which three rows of wheat are drilled 
12 inches apart and three feet of space left fallow alongside the drill- 
ed strip, and this succession of cropped and fallowed strips is repeat- 
ed. The fallow strips are kept cultivated deep and exposed to the 
action of air. Keeping land cultivated and exposed without crop 
should not be done in the rainy season. The ^Jewish system of 



ROTATION OF CROPS. 159 

giving rest to all land every seventh year, also comes under the 
bare-fallow system. 

(3) Green-crop-fallowing system. This is where a green or 
root-crop is substituted for fallow. The land is well cleaned and 
thoroughly manured, either by direct manuring for the previous 
crops, and by tethering cattle or sheep on the land and giving them 
oil-cake in addition. 

(4) Prout's plan. Under this system all things are grown 
by artificial manures. No live-stock is kept and all the crops are 
sold off as they get ready. This is a wasteful plan, except in certain 
localities where there is a railway station close by and a ready market 
and special facility for obtaining manures cheap. The ploughing, 
etc., is done by hired bullocks, and no crop is used for feeding farm 
nnimals, even the straw of cereals being sold off . 

(5) All-stock-and-no-crop system is the opposite of Front's 
plan. The land is mostly let down in grass. Such foods as cake, 
bean-meal, chaff, etc., are bought. The dung is returned to the 
meadows and the liquid manure is used for irrigating the meadows. 
On poor land and on hill-sides this system may be found profitable. 

(6) Irrigation system. If water, liquid manure, or town 
sewage, is available in abundance, this system may be followed. 
For market gardens, for meadow pastures and for green crops, 
this system is adapted, but not for growing cereals (except rice) 
and pulses. Manures need not be applied where there are special 
facilities for irrigation with sewage, as sewage water itself contains 
sufficient plant food. 

(7) Mixed arable-and-stock- farming is the safest system for 
most agricultural lands. 

(8) Near large towns market-gardening and dairy- farming 
pay better. 

(9) Fruit farming and jam and jelly-making are best adapted 
for lands away from towns but not far removed from railway 
station or river, etc., leading to a large town. 



CHAPTER XXIII. 
ROTATION OF CROPS. 

[Principles : (1) Growing of a large variety of crops ; (2) Interposition of 
leguminous crops rich in root-nodules ; (3) Fallowing ; (4) Prevention of 
insect and fungus pests ; (5) Recuperation after temporary exhaustion ; (6) 
Avoiding of poisonous excreta ; (7) Availing food-substance from different 
" strata ; (8) Growing of catch-crops ; (9) Of different crops suited for different 
classes of soils; (10) Typical rotations for different classes of soil ; (11) 
Local crops to be at first grown ; (12) Rotation necessary even in planting.] 

Principles. The principle of dividing up the land and grow- 
ing various crops according to man's natural requirements, is so 
obvious, that it has been adopted by cultivators all over the world ; 
but the principle of growing one crop one year and another crop 



160 



HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 



t, is difficult to follow in a country where cultivators grow 
a few crops, and where a certain piece of land is reserved for 
ricv, c. ther for jute or cotton, and so on. Good cultivators avoid 
growing the same crop on the same piece of land two years in suc- 
cession, as much as possible. They usually grow jute and aus 
paddy or cotton and juar in succession on the same land. Another 
principle good cultivators follow is to grow a crop of rahar, or sunn- 
hemp, or a pulse crop for renovating their land. They are not 

aware, however, of the fact, that 
the roots of leguminous crops are 
more or less rich in root-nodules, 
and that these nodules are caused 
by bacteria harbouring on the roots, 
as beneficent parasites. If one were 
to take up a vigorously growing plant 
of Dhaincha (Sesbania aculeata), or 
simn-hemp, or rahar, or ground-nut, 
one finds the roots full of well- 
developed nodules. These nodules 
when squeezed throw out a viscous 
fluid, which contains innumerable 
bacteria which can be readily recog- 
nised under a powerful microscope. 
The bacteria which form these 
nodules are able to derive their sus- 
tenance from the air, which higher 
vegetation is unable to do. The 
larger the quantity of root-nodules, 
the greater the amount of nourish- 
ment derived from the air and stored 
in the soil. The advantage of grow- 
ing beans and clover is well under- 
stood in England, but Dhaincha and 
simw-hemp are far richer in root- 
nodules than perhaps any other 
plant, and being fast-growing they 
can be grown just before or after 
the rainy season as a preparatory 
catch-crop, and ploughed into the 
soil to the benefit of the succeeding 
crops. 

Fallowing. Another principle involved in rotation, is the 
economising of the manure available in the farm, by keeping a 
portion of the lands by turns fallow and having the cattle tethered 
here for one year under some temporary structure made of wooden 
posts and roof on which fodder is stored for the year. This is an 
excellent system of making the best use of the manure available in 
the raiyats ' holding, and it is one which is practised in Mymensingh 
and other districts. 




FIG. 6l.-~Dhaincha PLANT, 

SHOWING ROOT-NODULES. 



ROTATION OF CROPS. 161 

Protection from Insect anil Fungus Ptsts. Another great advantage 
derived from crops being grown in rotation on the same land is, 
that the pests of a crop, which would have multiplied if the same 
crop had been grown again on the same piece of land, die out 
for want of the host-plant in the immediate neighbourhood. The 
one-crop system of planters is the worst for encouraging insect and 
fungus pests. 

Recuperation after temporary exhaustion. Another principle which 
underlies rotation is a somewhat theoretical one. It is this : A 
crop exhausts some minute but necessary ingredient of the soil 
which another crop probably does not require, and also that the 
crop leaves in the soil some excrementitious matter in the soil which 
is injurious to that crop, but which is dispersed by growing another 
crop in the soil. The soil gets rest with regard to certain principles 
by growing a crop of a different kind, but in what way exactly 
does not appear clear. Jute following jute on the same land 
is found to yield a poorer result than when an intermediate crop 
of rice is taken. 

Food-substances from different strata are taken up by different crops, 
some, such as barley, exhausting the top soil, while others, such as 
cotton or maize, drawing up food from deeper layers of the soil. 

Growing of Catch-crops Another principle which should guide a 
farmer in the choice of crops to be grown on a piece of land 
is the taking advantage of occasional showers of rain by growing 
catch-crops between two regular crops. Catch-crops take only 
about three months' maturing, and some of these can be grown 
to perfection when there is heavy fall of rain out of season. Certain 
varieties of ordinary crops, such as the shati or sixty-day variety of 
mis paddy, the mathia kapas, which is a poor variety of cotton 
grown in Kathiawar, which matures in less than three months, 
may be grown as catch-crops. Other crops, which are parti- 
cularly adapted for growing as catch-crops, are cheena, buck- wheat, 
cow-pea, Cyamopsis psoralioides, and various kinds of sag. 

The main aim of rotation is to grow in succession different varieties 
of crops interspersed with crops rich in root-nodules. 

Different rotations are applicable for different kinds of soil, as certain soils 
are particularly suited for certain crops, but not so well for others. 
(1) Stony and gritty soils are well suited for growing the following 
crops : maize, oats, jowar, gondli (including the superior winter 
variety called laio), marua, kodo, bajra ; agaves, mesta-pat, cotton, 
mesta or sorrel, ladies' finger, sabai grass, buck-wheat, yams, 
cassava, sweet-potatoes, sank-alu ; cow-pea, coarse mung, kulti, 
rahar, bhringi, Cyamopsis psoralioides, makhan-sim, ordinary 
country bean, soy-bean, dengo sag, mulberry, indigo, chillies, cape 
gooseberry, tomato, tobacco ; kankri, kankrol, chichinga, castor, 
sorguja, safflower ; also such trees as Ceara rubber, kusum, asan and 
baer, for lac cultivation ; bhela or marking-nut tree ; asn for 

M, HA 11 



162 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

growing tusser silk ; simul tree, myrobalan trees, tea, coffee, laurel 
leaf tree, and cashew-nuts in seaside places which are not too dry 
and hot. The coffee would grow under the shade of other trees. 
Low-lying land and hollows in hilly places can be utilized by 
growing aman and aus paddy. 

(2) In sandy soils. The crops that could be grown well are : 
bajra, barley, oats, cheena, kayon, aus paddy ; til, sorcjuja, mus- 
tard, ground-nut, safflower ; mesta-pat, sunn-hemp, dhaincha, kalai, 
mung, kulti, indigo ; buck-wheat on hill-sides ; melons, patol, and 
sank-alu. Sank-alu being a leguminous crop should be grown 
largely as a catch-crop where possible after aus or mesta-pat. 
Ground-nut should be more largely grown on such soils, harvest 
and it can be sown, if there is sufficient rainfall, either in February, 
or in May or June, or in October. 

(3) In loamy soils should be grown potatoes, tobacco ; rhea 
(it soil is very rich and moist), jute, buri-cotton ; paddy, jowar, maize, 
wheat, barley, oats, sugar-cane, English and country vegetables, 
linseed, ground-nut, gram, pea, musuri, khesari, mung, kalai, mesta, 
turmeric, ginger, arrowroot, melons, cassava, sweet-potatoes, ol- 
kachu, man-kachu, yams, plantains and mulberry. 

(4) The crops suited to day soils are winter paddy, wheat, oats, 
jute, sugar-cane, rahar, mat-grass, mulberry, gram, peas, beans, 
mung, linseed, and cabbages. In lands subject to flooding only 
winter paddy and jute of certain special kinds can be grown. Mat- 
grass and mulberry like sabai grass are perennial crops and are not 
suited for ordinary rotation. 

(5) For calcareous soils the crops suited are : (1) paddy and 
rahar in rotation ; (2) wheat and gram in rotation ; or barley, and 
khesari or musuri, followed by jowar, and sank-alu in rotation ; 
(3) maize followed by potatoes ; (4) Cyamopsis psoralioides follow- 
ed by bajra ; (5) Kulthi followed by oats ; (6) lucerne ; (7) carrots, 
cotton or onions. Lucerne being a perennial crop is not subject 
to ordinary rotation. 

(6) For peaty soils the following rotations may be adopted : 
pumpkin, gourd, luffa or cucumber, followed by linseed, mustard, 
oats, \\heat or barley, or brinjals, and other vegetables grown all 
the year round. 

(7) The following rotations may be adopted in soils within a 
hundred miles of the seaside : paddy may be followed by radishes, 
carrots, onions, cabbages, beet or mangold (for fodder only and not 
for sugar) ; dhaincha followed by potatoes and afterwards by sugar- 
cane or jowar ; ground-nut followed by cotton ; gourds and pump- 
kins followed by barley. The perennial crops suited to such lands 
are plantains, date, cocoanut, supari, cashew-nut, and lucerne, if soil 
is calcareous. 

.For the first four classes of soil, viz., stony, sandy, loamy and 
clayey, various crops are mentioned, and the rotations possible 
in these lands would be innumerable. A few tjrpical rotations suit- 
able for Bengal may be given here, but only by way of example. 



ROTATION OF CROPS. 163 

(1) For stony soil the following 4-course system of rotation is 
suitable : maize followed by cow-pea in the first year, cotton in the 
second year, and mesta-pai followed by sank-alu the third year, 
buck-wheat followed by bare-fallowing the fourth. 

(2) For sandy soil the following 5-course rotation is suitable : 
am paddy followed by mustard and peas the first year ; jute fol- 
lowed by mung and til the second year ; aus paddy followed by 
potatoes the third year; sugar-cane the fourth year, and aus 
paddy followed by kalai, the fifth year. 

(3) For loamy soil, if particularly rich and moist or irrigable, 
three crops can be taken off the same soil annually : From March 
to July a crop of Jaunpnr maize ; from July to October transplanted 
aus paddy grown with bonemeal and saltpetre manure ; from Novem- 
ber to February, potatoes with heavy manuring. This is intensive 
cultivation. Instead of maize or aus paddy, a crop of dhaincha 
may be taken. This will make the system less intensive and costly. 

(4) For day soils, fallowing of land once in five or six years is 
desirable. The following typical rotation for clay soils may be 
adopted : 

Aman paddy followed by melons the first year. 

Aman paddy followed by winter-fallowing the second year. 

Jute followed by khesari and musari the third year. 

Awan paddy or sugar-cane the fourth year, and aman paddy 
followed by winter-fallowing the fifth year. 

Bare-fallowing the sixth year (with cattle pasturing on the 
land). 

This is a conservative system of rotation suitable for cultiva- 
tors. One should always study the local crops and the rotations 
actually followed by the best cultivators, and follow these at first, 
,and gradually and tentatively introduce changes, until a definite 
course of rotation is fixed upon. 

A rotation is necessary even when the object is to grow one 
crop only, subsidiary crops of fodder, etc., being grown as acces- 
sory crops to give the land some rest from the main crop. Suppose, 
for instance, a ratooned crop of sugar-cane is grown in a large plan- 
tation, and the same land is under the sugar-cane for three or four 
years at a stretch, it is a good thing afterwards to set fire to the land, 
plough it up, and grow on it a cleaning crop of Dhaincha, or Sunn- 
hemp, or ground-nut, or cow-pea, or all the four crops mentioned, 
and renovate the soil before putting down sugar-cane once more. 
Even in starting a sugar-cane plantation, after burning the jungle 
in May, and ploughing the land up, a preparatory crop of aus pad- 
dy or kulti should be taken, and after that a crop of potatoes, if 
possible, before the land is brought into a thoroughly fit state for 
sugar-cane cultivation. If an annual variety of sugar-cane is grown 
by a planter, he may grow it in rotation with indigo, and continue 
to take both the indigo and sugar crops instead of depending on 
one crop only. 



164 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

CHAPTER XXIV. 

RICE (ORYZA SATIVA). 

[The wild rices of swamps, dry land and hills : The typical cultivated rices - 
Area ; Principal paddies of the Burdwan Division, specially those grown 
at the Sibpur Farm* ; Aus paddy ; rotation, manuring ; soil ; tillage ; irriga- 
tion ; harvesting ; outturn ; cost ; husking ; Peshwari paddy ; a discovery in 
connection with aus paddy ; Boro paddy ; Hornn or long stemmed paddy ; 
Haydn paddy ; Best conditions for paddy cultivation ; Average outturn of 
all paddies ; Outturn of aman and tins paddies at Sibpur and at Dumraon, 
the Jatter irrigated and manured ; Mixed rice crops ; Paddy cultivation in 
the Sunderbans; Chemical Composition.] 

The wild rice. Rice is indigenous to the East Indies and 
Australia, but cultivated from very ancient times throughout the 
warmer regions of the Old and the New World. Some of the wild 
varieties are awned and others awnless. But other peculiarities, 
such as ability to stand drought or inundation, are of more economic 
importance and should be studied by collectors of wild and cultiv- 
ated species of rice. Oryza granulata is found on dry soils at alti- 
tudes up to 3,000 feet, in Sikkim, Assam, Burmah, Pareshnath 
and Rajmehal Hills, and Malabar. It is a perennial species with an 
almost woody root-stock. The flavour of the grain is so good that 
it is collected and eaten by children. The granular structure of 
the inner glume is its characteristic peculiarity. No cultivated 
rice seems to have been derived from this wild species as this pecu- 
liarity is not possessed by any. Oryza officinalis, another perennial 
species, with a sub-woody root-stock, with tall and sparse branches, 
multi-nerved leaves and profuse branched panicles, has its charac- 
ters intermediate between Oryza granulata and Oryza sativa. This 
wild rice occurs in Sikkim, Khasia Hills, and Burmah. Hairy 
glumes which are found in some cultivated rices are present in this 
wild species. The umbellate, naked peduncles are also sometimes 
met with in the cultivated hill rice, which is distinctly Oryza sativa. 
The Oryza sativa is met with in the wild state wherever marshy 
lands occur, in Madras, Orissa, throughout Bengal, Arracan and 
Cochin China. The plant is generally an annual. The inflorescence 
is a panicle of spikes on short peduncles which have hairy scales, 
frequently a distinct tuft of hairs, as in Oryza officinalis at the point 
of origin of the spikes. The outer glumes are large, very often tri- 
dentate, midrib prominent, inner glumes variously shaped, but in 
the wild state considerably elongated,' being, as a rule, *325 inch 
in length, and in the majority of cases the larger .one is produced into 
a long awn whidh is distinctly articulated and possessed at its base 
of two glandular processes which correspond to the extremities of 
the lateral nerves : the surface is more or less hairy especially on 
the keel and nerves. Whilst the vast majority of forms of Oryza 
sativa possess only one grain, certain forms have two or even three 
grains. The Uri or Jhara rice of Bengal is only one form of wild 
Oryza sativa, which may be the origin of the various aus, aman and 
boro paddies. The wild rice is hardier than cultivated rices, and 



RICE. 165 

.as it is self-sown and is easily carried from field to field, it has been 
sometimes known to exterminate the cultivated rice and take its 
place. Fishermen collect the easily detached grain by binding the 
ears into tufts before they are ripe. When ripe they go in their 
.palm canoes collecting the ears or simply shaking the grain into their 
primitive barges. Wild rice is met with even in the dry regions of 
the Central Provinces, usually in shallow pools of water, for instance 
in railway cuttings. In the dry regions of Partabgarh (Oudh), I 
have seen wild rice growing where there is no accumulation of water. 
Roxburgh distinguishes between early and late rices. He distin- 
guishes eight forms of late rice all awnless affording white grains. 
Of his early rices, four are awned and yield red or coloureU grains, 
one is awned but yielding a white grain, while there are awnless 
yielding white grains. Of the early rices six have coloured husks, 
while two have white or pale husks ; of the late rices four have 
coloured and four white husks. The progress of cultivation is from 
awned to awnless and from coloured to colourless. Against these 
suppositions should be mentioned the fact that the Oryza Bengalen- 
sis or Uri-dhan has a white husk and grain, and some of the best and 
finest cultivated rices have an awned spikelet, e.g.,, the karpurkati, 
and some, such as kelejira and daudkhani, have coloured husks. 
Roxburgh's classification probably does not include ihe'bildn rices, 
which may have been alone derived from the wild Uru rice, while 
the ordinary red rices are probably derived from Oryza rufipogon 
and the blackish ones from Oryza abuensis. That a/man paddy has 
originated from aus can be actually proved by an experiment. 
If grains from a second cutting of an aus that yields a second cut- 
ting are sown, the plants yield aman paddy instead of aus, i.e., 
they ripen in four to five months instead of three, give a larger 
yield and the grains do not shed easily. 

Area. The area under rice in India is enormous, and this 
crop stands easily first among all the cereals grown in the country. 
The total area lies usually between seventy and seventy-five mil- 
lion acres, of which nearly forty million lie in the three provinces of 
Behar and Orissa, Bengal and Assam. Burma stands second with 
an area of between nine and ten million acres, much being grown 
for export, while between eight and nine million acres are cultiva- 
vated with this crop in Madras. Of the remainder of India, the Cen- 
tral Provinces and Berar grow four and a half million acres under 
this crop, the United Provinces about six million acres, Bombay 
(with Sind) two and a half million acres, and the Punjab (with the 
Frontier Province) nearly three-quarters of a million acres. The 
importance of North East India (the three provinces) for rice culti- 
vation will be seen from these figures, as more than half the rice 
land of India is included in them. 

The varieties of rice recognised in Bengal alone are innumerable. 
Dr. Watt, as Reporter of Economic Products, had occasion to 
examine four thousand varieties of Bengal rice at one time. Of the 
rices grown in the Burdwan Division the following aman varieties 



166 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

may be mentioned as suited for bil lands : (1) Atirang, (2) Hati 
shal, (3) Sacla-ora, (4) Meghi, (5) Rupshal, (6) Ora, (7) Paramayu- 
shal, (8) Ora-meghi, (9) Chile-rangi, (10) Bankmal, (11) Uttarkal- 
ma, (12) Lal-ora, (13) Shankchur, (14) Dhuki-lata-mol, (15) Ka- 
nakchur, (16) Uri, (17) Lakshmi-bilash, (18) Muktashal, (19) Sin- 
durtupi, (20) Bhut-kaurabi, (21) Pashakati, (22) Soura, (23) Rati- 
Ramshal, (24) Nilkanthashal, (25) Kal-bayra, (26) Panikalma, (27) 
Shol-pand, (28) Paramananda, (29) Amdn, (30) Nadanghatta, (31) 
Sambara, (32) KatoshAl, (33) Mete-kuji, (34) Nilratan, (35) Nil- 
kantha, (36) Boyal-d&nr, and (37) Ure-shals. Of the above the 
following peculiarities may be noticed : (1) Hatishal paddy has a 
very big grain, though the yield per acre is not exceptionally high. 
It goes up occasionally to thirty-six or forty maunds per acre. (2) 
The yield of the following varieties is large : Atirang, Sada-ora, 
Meghi, Ora ? Boyal-danr, Chile-rangi, Bankmal, Uttar-kalma, Lal- 
ora, Dhuki-lata-mol, Uri, Lakshmi bilash, Sindurtupi, Bhut-kau- 
rabi, Pashakati, Soura, Rati-ramshal, Kalbayra, Panikalma, Shol- 
pana, Aman, Nadanghata, Sambara Kalashal, Mete-kuji, and Nil- 
kantha. These are expected to yield as much as forty-live to fifty 
maunds per acre. (3) Paramayu-shal, the yield of which often goes 
up to twenty to thirty maunds per acre, is a sweet-scented variety 
considered to be very easily digested, and highly valued for this 
reason. The grains of this variety are not very fine. (4) Kanakchur, 
the yield of which may also come to twenty to thirty maunds per 
acre, is valued because kluti (popped-corn) is made out of it. 

Of aman paddies suited for ordinary paddy land (not bil land), 
the following Burdwan varieties may be mentioned as noted for 
special virtues : (1) Gobindabhog, Khash-khani, Bansmati, Bena- 
phuli, Kamini, and Badshabhog, are fine and scented varieties, 
which are highly prized. (2) Paramanna-shal and Ramdhimipa- 
gal are also scented varieties, but not very fine. (3) Harinakhuri 
and Bankchur are paddies out of which khai (pop-corn) is made. 
(4) Khejurchari is a rice, the inflorescence of w r hich has some re- 
semblance to a bunch of dates ; and (5) Pakshiraj, a paddy of winged 
appearance, is supposed to have medicinal properties. (6) Chhota- 
bangota, Chhanchi-mol, Bankui, Harinakhuri, Dhale-kalma, Kali- 
kalma, Jhingashal, Ajan, Kate-nona, Lal-kalma, Lata-mol, Chhota- 
dhole, Chhanchi-ora, Jata-kalma, Dudhe-nona, Hara-kali, Manik- 
kalma, Kartik-shal, Kartik-kalma, Khepa, Rangibangota, Nadna- 
shal, Mehupal, Jal-shuka, Altapati-nona, Mugurshal, Dhole, Shun- 
no-gangajal, Mota-nagra, Bangota Patategara, Dhukishal, Kash- 
phul, Nona-Laushal, Kalma, GddhashAl, Dudh-kanra, Kalam-kati. 
Laushenkdta, Sindurmukhi, Bankatd, Champashal, Neulipatuni, 
Bari-amla, Machyiydn, Akindi, Bagi-lal-patuni, Leajkata, Sonddl- 
mukhi, Noyachur, Khayershal and Noyan, are heavy yielders. 
The superior fine and scented rices are produced in only about half 
the quantity of the coarser kinds. 

High class aman paddies also grow best on land which does not 
get too much under water. On very wet land fine rices show a 



RICE. 167 

tendency to become coarse. At the Sibpur Farm, the Kataribhog 
paddy of Dinajpur is steadily becoming coarser and coarser ; but 
the Samudrabali variety of Bhagalpur, the finest variety of all, 
has remained fine so far. The yield of Samudrabali variety is 
heavy, and it is worth cultivating largely. The Badsabhog vari- 
ety of aman paddy is also worth cultivating extensively, not only 
for its high quality, but for its large yield. The introduction of 
this variety of paddy in Hazaribagh, through the Reformatory 
School, has proved a great boon. Not only in the school farm, 
but also in the lands of others who have taken to growing this vari- 
ety of paddy, it has given a larger produce than the coarsest vari- 
ety of local paddy. The Daudkhani variety of fine paddy is also 
prolific, but whether it will be found so prolific outside the Burd- 
wan Division is not known. 

The aus rice of Bengal is nearly all coarse, difficult to digest 
and eaten by the poorer classes alone. It is grown on high-lands 
and sandy banks of rivers, and the plant requires much less water 
than the ordinary aman and boro paddies. As the sowing is ordin- 
arily done broadcast, it is more troublesome to hoe than the aman. 
It yields a smaller outturn and fetches a lower price. But it sup- 
plies the rail/at with a food-grain and fodder (in common with other 
inferior grains, the millets, maize, etc.), at a time of the year when 
these get scarce. When the rainy season is of short duration and 
the aman fails, poor people depend for their subsistence on the am 
and the millets. The growing of aus paddy, millets and maize is 
therefore highly advisable as a provision against famine, and the 
introduction of fine varieties of aus, more palatable and easily diges- 
ted, would be a great improvement. The possibility of growing very 
fine aus rice has been demonstrated at Sibpur Farm. The average 
of the yield of fine aus paddy from the Central Provinces for seven 
years in the Sibpur Farm has been l,3031bs. or a little less than 
16 maunds per acre, the average yield of straw being 1,53 lifts, 
or a little less than 19 maunds per acre. In 1901 from ^th of an 
acre, 34 seers of paddy and 52 seers of straw were obtained from 
the first cutting, and 9 seers of paddy and 20 seers of straw from the 
second cutting. The growing of aus paddy is also desirable owing 
to the opportunity it gives for early preparation of land for rabi 
(winter) crops, such as pulses and oil-seeds. Potatoes and sugar- 
cane which are sown later are also benefited by a longer preparation. 
There are some varieties of Burdwan aus paddy such as Niali, 
Kele, Aswingota, Kartiksal, etc., which form a sort of a connecting 
link between the aus and the aman. These are also transplanted 
like aman, and require more water than the aus. The time of trans- 
planting these is somewhat later than that of ordinary aus, but 
they are reaped a month or two before the aman, which is a great- 
advantage. 

Pethwari paddy is also an early variety of paddy which is 
greatly appreciated all over India, specially by rich Mahomedans. 



168 HANDBOOK OP AGEICULTUBE. 

It is a highly absorbent variety of paddy which is in great request 
for the preparation of pelao. Naturally it produces a small crop in 
Bengal, the average of three years' produce at Sibpur being l,0961bs. 
of paddy and l,3031bs. of straw, or 13 J and 15| maunds respec- 
tively per acre. 

A new discovery which is of the highest practical benefit was 
made by the author at Sibpur in connection with fine aus, 
the seed of which he originally brought to Sibpur from the Central 
Provinces, and the Swati variety of Peshwari paddy which was 
sent for experiment at Sibpur by the Bengal Agricultural Depart- 
ment. The Central Provinces aus gave the first year a good result, 
i.e., about 20 maunds of paddy per acre, but the Peshwari Swati, 
which is a large grained variety and which produced a very healthy 
and exuberant growth of leaf, produced a very small crop of only 
7 maunds of grain per acre. A small second crop was taken from 
both, which was used for seed the next year. The seed from the 
second cutting or the after-math, produced a remarkable result. 
The crop withstood drought when paddy from other seeds failed 
and gave a very fair yield. The result in grain from the ordinary 
seed of the Central Provinces aus was 

In 1002 -1.4 76tt>*. against l,804lb*. obtained fiom ratoon seed. 
Tn 19U3-716 927 
In 19041,640 2,050 

The result from Swati from ordinary vseed in 1902 was nil 
(the crop failing from drought) against l,250ffis. from ratoon-seed, 
and in 1904, l,558fl)s. against l,570ffis. obtained from ratoon-seed, 
under favourable climatic conditions. The second cutting or ratoon- 
seed has uniformly given a higher yield for a number of years at 
this farm. A high-class paddy like the Swati giving a large yield 
even in droughty weather is an extremely valuable production. 
These two high class varieties of autumn paddy should be extensively 
groAvn from the second-cutting-seed. The second-cutting-seed 
produces a deeper rooted plant which accounts for its producing 
a larger yield even in droughty weather. There is another reason 
for the Swati specially benefiting by the process. The Swati has 
an open panicle, and in August when it ordinarily flowers the rain- 
fall is so heavy, that the pollen grains get washed out and fertiliz- 
ation is prevented. All aus paddy has more or less empty grains 
(agra) in consequence, but the Peshwari paddies contain a larger 
proportion of agra than any other for the reason just mentioned. 
Using the second-cutting-seed the crop matures fully a month later 
and the floweriAg takes place at a season (in September) when the 
rainfall is not so incessant, and when, in consequence, grains get 
the opportunity of forming properly. 

Rotation. Aus grown on dearh land is often followed by 
another cereal crop such as wheat or barley. Potatoes and aus 
paddy form a rotation in parts of the Burdwaa Division. 

The following rotation is recommended : 



RICE. 169 

First year. -4ws paddy followed by a pulse or oil-seed or the 
two mixed together. 

Second year. Jute or Mestd pat, followed by a pulse or oilseed 
or the two mixed together. 

Third year. Aus paddy followed by sugar-cane. 
Fourth yearSugar-cane followed by aus paddy. 
Fifth year. Potatoes followed by aus paddy. 
Sixth year. Bare fallow with tethering of cattle. 

Aus paddy is considered the best cleaning crop, as it eradi- 
cates ulu grass (Imperata arundinacea) and other weeds. When 
an orchard has to be made on foul ulu land, aus paddy is sown, and 
in the midst of the standing crop, plantains and other fruit trees are 
planted. 

Manuring. Aus paddy is often grown with manure. It is also 
largely grown without manure on river sides where there is 
silt deposit. The manures used are cowdung, ashes, tank-earth, 
.and, rarely, oil-cake. Whatever quantity of dung the raiyat gets 
hold of or can afford to apply, he applies, and there is no rule ob- 
served as to quantity. The application benefits the subsequent 
raU crop also, and it is for this reason that aus paddy is heavily 
manured. Aus rice grown after potatoes is not manured. 250ffis. 
.(1 maund per bigha) of oil-cake per acre is the usual quantity used, 
when this manure is applied. Tank-earth is applied once m 3 or 
4 years, 30 to 100 cart-loads per acre ; SOffis. of bone-dust and 80jf>s. 
of saltpetre per acre would be a good substitute for oil-cake, and 
would give a greater yield. The cost would be Rs. 6 or Rs. 7 (i.e., 
Rs. 2 or Rs. 2-8 for SOlhs. of bone-dust and Rs. 4-4 or Rs. 4-8 for 
80K)S. of crude saltpetre). The outlay will be more than realised 
by the increased outturn. The bone-dust should be applied at 
the time of cultivation, and the saltpetre a fortnight after 
transplanting, mixed up thoroughly with the earth along the lines 
of transplanting. 

Soil. The soils considered best for aus paddy are loam, sandy 
Joam and loamy sand, situated rather high. 

Ullage. The first ploughing and cross-ploughing should be 
done in the cold weather, or as soon after the rabi harvest as possbile. 
If the land is too hard to plough, ploughing should be done after 
the first shower of rain in February or March. The longer the in- 
terval allowed between the first ploughing and the sowing, the bet- 
ter, hence the importance of doing the ploughing as early as possi- 
ble. The plough need not be used after the first ploughing and 
cross-ploughing, but the bakhar may be substituted in its place twice 
or three times, as occasion will arise, for killing the weeds and pre- 
paring a seed-bed. The burning heat of summer will destroy the 



170 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

weeds and leave the land clean. Six or seven ploughings are not 
required if one ploughing and one cross-ploughing are done early 
in the season. Later, after a fairly heavy shower of rain, two suc- 
cessive bakharings followed by harrowing and laddering will level 
the land. Sowing should be done by drilling, but transplanting 
is still better even for aus. If sowing is done broadcast or by drill- 
ing, a light wooden roller should be used to cover the seed and give 
the land the proper compactness. A rounded log of wood or a 
beam can be used as a roller. The transplanting should be done at 
intervals of nine inches, one seedling being planted at each spot 
and not several as is the custom. The seed-bed for aus paddy 
should be close to water, that it may be kept watered and transplant- 
ing done at the very commencement of the regular rainy season, 
say, about the 15th or 20th of June. The sowing in seed-bed or 
in field should be done early in May, and the first heavy shower of 
rain from the middle of April to the middle of May may be utilized 
for this purpose, i.e., for final preparation of land and sowing. Ten 
seers of seed are required per acre if transplanting is done. If 
sowing is done broadcast 30 seers of seed is ample ; if drilling is 
done, 20 seers. For seed-bed, 3 maunds per acre may be sown. 
Transplanted paddy (if transplanting is done early, i.e., when the 
plants are only about 9 inches high) grows more vigorously than 
paddy grown from broadcasted or drilled seed. Transplanting also- 
gives facility for the after-ploughing operations, i.e., hoeing, or run- 
ning the spade in lines and overturning the soil, either of which opera- 
tion gives vigour to the plants. This ploughing with a small plough 
called Idngld, or hoeing, or spading, should be done when the trans- 
planted seedlings are well established. Seedlings can be kept even 
three or four days after uprooting them with impunity, but it is 
safe to have the bundles of seedlings in damp and shady places r 
or actually in water if they cannot be planted out at once. The 
produce of each cottah of seed-bed is made into 30 or 32 bundles. 
The tops of the bundles should be cut off before each is untied and 
the planting out is done. Before transplanting, water should accu- 
mulate in the field and ploughing in puddle should be done. The 
ladder should be also passed over the puddle. But in sandy soil 
laddering of puddle before transplanting is not necessary. The 
seed should be sown early in the season in light showery weather,, 
as the caking of the soil after a heavy shower of rain prevents free 
germination. Broadcasted aus seedlings when they are about nine 
inches high are harrowed with a bidia. It is an operation which 
does as much harm as good and it is not recommended. The harm 
done by the uprooting of seedlings is not very noticeable, as a great 
deal more seed is used than is necessary. The hoeing and weeding 
done by the bidia are very imperfect. Passing the bullock-hoe, or 
the wheel hand-hoe, or the Idngld, or the spade, along straight drills, 
is much better. Seedlings from one acre of seed-bed would suffice 
for at least ten acres of aus and more of toman, and in the case of 
fine paddy still more. 



RICE. 171 

Irrigation If the soil looks dry, especially when the plants 
are coming to ear, irrigation should be resorted to. Irrgation at this, 
the thhor-mukh, stage of growth, results in heavy yield, unless sea- 
sonable showers make irrigation superfluous. In the case of aman 
paddy, Hathia-img&tion is considered for the same reason most 
important. 

Harvesting. Aus paddy should not be allowed to get too ripe. 
It sheds more easily than aman paddy. The end of September is 
the usual time for harvesting, but early varieties (Shati, etc.) are 
harvested as early as July and August. Aus straw is also more 
brittle than aman straw, and it easily gets broken. This is another 
reason for cutting aus while it is still somewhat green. The corn is 
cut close to the ground and left in parallel lines in the field for about 
a week. Afterwards sheaves are made, and 100 to 150 sheaves 
stooked together, and soon after removed and threshed in the thresh- 
ing floor. 

Outturn. The outturn per acre of paddy is 12 to 25 maunds 
and of straw 20 to 40 maunds. 

Diseases will be treated separately in the part devoted to 
Insect and Fungus Pests. 

Cost. The cost of growing a crop of aus paddy will be approx- 
imately as follows : 

Per acre. 

1 ploughing and 1 cross-ploughing, with laddering 

at 12 annas ... ... " ... ... 1 80 

2 bakharings with laddering or rolling ... ... 12 

1 ploughing in puddle ... ... ... U 12 

6 men employed in transplanting seedlings ... 130 

Proportion of cost for seed nursery dVrth) ... ... 80 

Cost of 12 seers of seed <& Rs. 2-8 a md. ... ... 12 

3 mds. of powdered oil-cake 6-0 \ 

or 1 md. of bone-dust 2-8 >say ... ..* f> 8 

and 30 seers of saltpetre 4-0 J 

Cost of applying the same ... ... ... f> 

Cost of turning up the soil with spades (15 men) ... 2 13 

Reaping, 6 men ... ... ... ... 1 20 

Binding and carrying, 6 men ... ... ... 1 20 

Threshing (with threshing machine, 4 men employed 

for 2 days), or by bullock- tread ing and winnowing 1 80 

Rent (half calculated against aus crop) ... ... 1 80 

20 6 
YIELD. Paddy, 20 mds. ... ... Rs. 20 w . 

Straw, say 25 mds. ... ... 3 O lce 



Rs.23 i 

are 

The net profit thus comes to less than Es. 3 per acre. Bile, 
high class autumn-paddy is sown, the 20 mds. of paddy will sel ad. 
as much as Rs. 40, and with such heavy manuring with saltpal r 
and bone-dust one can expect even more than 20 mds. of pa all 
per acre. If a fine variety is grown, the yield may come to c 



172 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

12 mds. per acre, but the money- value will be about the same. The 
fine aus paddy grown at Sibpur actually yields 20 mds. per acre 
when the second-cutting-seed is used. 

Husking. By husking the paddy after steaming, 20 mds. 
should give at least 14 mds. of rice, and the cost of husking (3 
women doing 2 mds. a day at a cost of 7 annas per md. of rice) may 
be calculated at about Rs. (3. 14 mds. of aus rice at Rs. 2 a md. may 
be valued at Rs. 28, this adding to the net profit another Rs. 2 per 
acre. If a fine variety is chosen the 14 mds. of rice may bring 
Rs. 70, and the profit in this case (if no manure is used) may come 
to Rs. 50 per acre. 

Aman paddy. Most of the remarks and calculations about 
aus paddy apply to aman paddy also, and it is only the distinctive 
characters of this crop that will be described here. 

Soil. Low-lying clay-soils are preferred for this crop. High 
lands, which cannot be easily irrigated, are not suited. The fine 
varieties specially are supposed to need to be under 6 inches or 9 
inches of water from the time of transplanting to that of the plants 
coming to ear ; but the need for a large accumulation of water at 
the base of the fine varieties of aman has been much exaggerated. 
Paddy plants not being injured like most other plants by water- 
logging, the water-logged condition of the soil hasjhe effect of killing 
out weeds and leaving the land very clean. But even in the case 
of paddies (notably the Peshwari and other superior varieties) 
change of water, i.e., letting out of old water, once or twice, is an 
advantage. In growing Peshwari paddy this precaution shall 
be taken. Niyurh or letting out of water early in August (before 
the Hathia period) is considered necessary for ordinary paddies 
also. In light soils aman paddy is sometimes sown broadcast. 
It is a lazy system which is prevalent in the southern portion of 
Murshidabad and northern portion of Nadia and perhaps in other 
parts of Bengal also. 

Cultivation. The land should be ploughed and cross-ploughed 
immediately after the previous aman harvest, if feasible, i.e., 
in December. Time should not be wasted allowing the land to get 
too dry for ploughing. If the land has become too dry already, 
a shower in January or February should be taken advantage of in 
.ploughing up new fields. If gram or any rabi crop follows the aman 
i ntr p, the first ploughing and cross-ploughing should take place in 
doesch or April, i.e., as soon as there is a shower of rain following 
done *abi harvest heavy enough to allow ploughing of the land. But 
deal ie ploughed up land under rabi crops is generally in an open con- 
done>n, there is seldom any difficulty about ploughing up fields 
the Mediately after the rabi harvest. At the beginning of the rainy 
is moii, or a little earlier, i.e., about the end of May, if possible (in 
for te in Behar and in April in Eastern Bengal), seed is to be sown 
fine properly cultivated seed-beds. The paddy-fields should then 



RICE. 

undergo regular cultivation after the commencement of the rains, 
ploughing being done in puddle. The object of this is to bury 
the grasses and weeds. Two ploughings and two cross-ploughings, 
followed by one laddering in each case, are enough for the field 
to receive seedlings. 

The method of transplanting is the same in the case of aus 
and aman, only in the latter case, transplanting is done later and 
further apart (one seedling being put in 1 foot apart in each spot). 
Aus paddy is commonly sown broadcast and no transplanting is 
done ; aman paddy is commonly transplanted. The earlier the 
transplanting can be safely done, the better it is for securing a 
good outturn. The seed-bed can be kept in a flourishing condition 
by irrigation if necessary in June, and transplanting can be com- 
menced when the regular rainy season just sets in, i.e., about the first 
week of July or earlier. If transplanting is put off to August 
because there is not sufficient accumulation of rain-water, the result 
will be poor, and need for irrigation may be felt if the rains stop early 
in the season. Early preparation and early transplantation are a 
great security against failure, and where there is facility for canal 
irrigation, and for taking in water early in the season, say in June, a 
silt deposit rich in manurial matters can be secured. The reports of 
the Meteorological Department should be closely watched at this 
season ; but the preparation of the seed-bed should on no account 
be put off to the regular commencement of the monsoon. It is 
better to resort to irrigation to keep seedlings alive, if 
necessary, early in the season. So instead of sowing seed in July, 
as is usually done, sowing should be done by the beginning of June 
and transplanting by the end of June, instead of in August. In 
unusual years there is sometimes no rain till the end of June and 
beginning of July. In such years preparations must perforce be 
delayed, except where there are canals, but in this case it is 
advisable to drill paddy seed in fields instead of sowing it in seed- 
bed and afterwards transplanting the seedlings. This saves time, 
and time is of the greatest importance when the rainy season 
threatens to be a short one. At such a season it is advisable 
also to grow as much am paddy, maize and millets, as the high 
lands will carry. 

Manuring. - Aman land is seldom manured, but manuring 
with oil-cakes, at three maunds per acre, would generally give a 
better yield, and perhaps pay for the outlay by the increased out- 
turn. Where the accumulation of water is too great, and surface 
damage too free, oil-cake, or dung, or tank-earth should be applied 
in preference to saltpetre. But even these retentive manures are 
liable to be washed out during very heavy rainfall, and, on the whole, 
application of manures for aman paddy is not recommended. 
Saltpetre should not be used as manure for aman paddy in Bengal, 
though in regions of short rainfall, this manure is suitable for all 
kinds of paddy. 



174 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

Thrashing. Aman paddy need not be thrashed soon after 
harvesting, but kept stacked for two or three months and thrashed 
at leisure. 

The flood of September 1900 enabled us to find out, that of 
the superior varieties of Aman paddy, the following stand the flood 
remarkably well, viz., Kapursal, Kelejira, Samudrabali and Mohan- 
bhog, the first three being scented varieties, and the third and,' 
particularly, the fourth, prolific varieties. The seed of Ketejira 
is black, small, but long : of Samudrabali, dark brown, small and 
short, and of Kapursal, light coloured and small, but long. After 
the water subsided, the plants of these three varieties after 
being 12 days under water yielded a crop as if nothing had happened. 
The grain of Mohanbhog are light coloured and large. It is an 
Eastern Bengal variety and very prolific. This also came out of 
the flood unscathed, while most other varieties perished or suffered 
more or less in the immediate vicinity. 

The proportion of grain to straw is higher in the case of aman 
paddy, and the absolute yield is also larger, as much as 40 or 50 
maunds of grain per acre being often obtained. The net profit 
per acre is, therefore, larger in the case of aman paddy. Us. 10 to 
Rs. 15 of net profit per acre may be expected by an intelligent cultiv- 
ator adopting proper methods. 

Boro-paddy. This is a comparatively minor crop. Two 
successive crops of boro paddy may be obtained in a year, one being 
cultivated as a rdbi or winter-crop, and the other as a kharif or 
rain-crop. The kharif variety is sown in the seed-bed in June or 
July, transplanted in July or August and harvested in September 
or October. The rdbi variety is sown in seed-bed in October or 
November, transplanted in November or December, and harvested 
in May. The kharif boro is grown with the aid of artificial irrigation. 
A low-lying and soft piece of land by a river or bil side is chosen for 
seed-bed. If necessary, the land is flooded artificially before it is 
ploughed. The seed is sown on soft mud, but not in water. Newly- 
thrashed grain is used. For three days and nights the grain is 
alternately dried in the sun and exposed to the night dews. It is 
then put in a bag, which is kept under water all the night and dried 
all the day. This process is repeated for three days and nights. 
If the seeds have all germinated by this time they are immediately 
sown. Otherwise they are filled into a bag and covered with blank- 
ets. After a day or two the seeds are taken out and broadcasted 
in the nursery at the rate of four maunds per acre. The seedlings 
from au acre are sufficient for 8 or 10 acres. After the seedlings 
are two inches high, the nursery is watered once a week. They are 
transplanted when 8 or 9 inches high. After transplantation the 
field is kept irrigate when necessary till harvest time. The rabi 
boro is grown in low-lying fields, where there is water in October 
or November. No ploughing is needed in such lands, which are 
usually soft, and seedlings are simply transplanted when 10 inches 



RICE. 175 

or 12 inches high into the soft mud. One or two ploughings are 
given when the land is not quite soft. All that is needed afterwards, 
to the time of harvesting, is pulling out of weeds and burying them 
in the soft mud. 

The outturn of boro paddy is 20 to 25 maunds per acre. The 
winter (rabi) variety gives a better outturn. 

In most districts boro is broadcasted only in November and 
December, or even in January and February, and harvested in 
April and May or in June. Boro is sometimes transplanted, two, 
three or four times, between December and February. 

Boran Aman or Long-stemmed Aman. These are coarse varieties of 
aman which habitually grow in water 5 to 15 feet deep. They 
are sown broadcast in bil or low-lying lands. As the water rises 
the plant also grows, growth of as much as 9" to 12" in 24 hours 
at the beginning of the rainy season having been observed. When 
submerged through a sudden flooding for more than three days, 
the crop is completely destroyed. This accounts for the failure of 
the experiment in the growing of the long-stemmed paddy in the 
Argoal Circuit of Midnapur. The sowing and harvesting takfc place 
at the same time as the sowing and harvesting oi ordinary aman. 
Only the ears and a foot or two of straw are harvested. The rest 
of the straw is used for fuel or gathered and burnt. 

Rayda. A peculiar kind of boro rice is known as rdydd or 
bhdsd-ndrdngd. This is sown along with ordinary boro rice in Decem- 
ber. The young stems are shorn when the boro crop is removed, 
but this does not seem to do the rdydd any harm. It continues to 
grow in water, attaining a height of 10 and even 20 feet, and is not 
harvested till September or October, thus remaining on the land 
tor 10 months. Only the ears with a foot and-a-half of straw are 
harvested, the rest of the straw or nara being left to rot on the land, 
or gathered and set fire to. 

Aus, Boro and Rayda paddies supply the food of the poorest 
people of Bengal. Fully one-third of the whole produce of Dacca 
belongs to the aus and boro classes of rice, and even the aman 
paddy of Dacca, especially the long-stemmed variety, is a coarse 
and inferior grain. Rdydd and Bordn paddies are grown in Eastern 
Bengal and Sylhet. 

The most favourable climatic conditions for the rice crop are : 
(1) Premonitory showers in May, facilitating final preparation 
of land and sowing in seed-beds ; (2) heavy showers during June 
and in July, facilitating transplantation ; (3) fair weather for 
a fortnight in August, facilitating niyarh and weeding operations ; 
{4) heavy rains in September, when the aman is coming into ear ; 
(5) casual but heavy showers in October, about once a week, 
especially during the first fortnight ; and (6) one or two good 
showers at the end of January facilitating ploughing up of rice-land 
in the cold weather. The aus crop does not need such a heavy 
rainfall, nor late rainfall, as the aman does. 



176 



HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 



Average Outturn. The outturn differs so much in different 
districts, under different conditions and for different varieties, that 
it is difficult to strike an average. Sir W. Hunter gives 15 inaunds 
of clean rice per acre as the average yield, while Sir A. P. Macdonell 
gives 10 maunds of rice for aman and 8 maunds of rice for aus 
and boro as the average yield per acre. About 12 maunds, or 
IjOOOlbs. of rice, or 16 maunds of paddy, is probably a better 
of average yield per acre. 

The following figures, gathered from the Report of the Sibpur 
Experimental Farm for 1904-05, give the average outturn of diff- 
erent races of fine and coarse varieties of paddy for several years, 
grown on clay soil without manure : 

Average Average 

produce of produce of 

grain per straw per 

acre. acre. 

Ibs. tbs. 

1. Badsabhog fine scented aman grown on propel 

aman land, i.e., low, rich land ... ... 2,600 4,400 

2. Badaabhog grown on high land suitable for cms. 1,423 2,039 

3. Rsinipagal (tine scented aman) grown on aus 

land ... ... ... 1,011 1,711 

4. Randhuni-p&gal (tine .scented aman) grown on 

aus land ... ... ... ... 1,045 1,921 

5. Chinor (very fine scented aman from the Central 

Provinces) grown on aus land ... ... 400 71(> 

(>. Btinsphul (tine aman) grown on aus land ... 875 2,13(> 

7. Daudkhani (amati, for ordinary table-rice) 

grown on aits land ... ... ... 1,405 2,184 

8. Kanakchur (fine aman) grown on aus land ... 910 1,303 
0. Karpurkiili (second aman ; awned, fairly fine) 

grown on aus land ... ... ... 992 2,910 

10. Samudrabali (very fine and scented aman) grown 

on aus land ... ... ... 1,239 2,039 

11. Kataribhog (tine aman) gown on aus laud ... 1,175 1,43O 

12. Hatiabal (coarser aman) grown on aus land .. 820 1,880 

13. Swati, Peshwari (big and scented grain, aw 

paddy) ... ... ... ... 1,096 1,764 

14. Madhumati, Peshwari ... ... ... 1,041 1,462 

15. Bara, Peshwari ... ... 1,378 1,435 

1(>. Very coarse aman paddy grown on aus land ... 1,826 2,173 
17. Very fine Central Provinces aus paddy grown on 

am land ... ... ... ... 1,303 1,825 

Gerteral average ... 1,208 1,960 

' This comes, roughly, to 15 maunds of paddy and 24J maunds 
of straw per acre. The produce of Badsabhog, which is a fine and 
scented variety, obtained from a low-lying field where there was 
water throughout the growing period, shows what the possibilities 
are in good and properly situated land. The outturn actually 
obtained from the Bddsabhog variety represents a produce of over 
30 maunds of grain and over 50 maunds of straw per acre. The 
rdiyafs expectation of 50 maundfc per acre in the case of coarse 
paddy is not, therefore, altogether vain, and this is frequently 



RICE. 



177 



obtained by the Eden Canal in Burdwan and in the Sundarbans. 
The figures given above show how difficult it is to arrive at a fair 
average, and unless a fair average for each subdivision and district 
is reached it is not possible to estimate the potential food-stock 
of the country. 

Outturn of Irrigated and Manured paddy. How the outturn is affected 
by heavy manuring and by irrigation can be seen from the follow- 
ing table compiled from the Report of the Dumraon Farm for 
1904-5. Four irrigations were given in each case, and cow-dung 
and saltpetre enough for supplying 401bs. of nitrogen per acre. 
It will be seen that the increase in yield is chiefly in the straw : 



No. 

1. 
2. 
3. 

4. 

5, 

6. 

7. 

8. 

9. 
10. 
11. 
12. 
13. 
14. 
15. 
16. 
17. 
18. 
19. 
20. 
21. 
22. 
23. 
24 
25. 
26. 
27. 
28. 
29. 
30. 
31. 



Name of variety. 

Sukvel of Bombay 

K a mode 

Ambamohor 

Jirasal 

Zina Kalumbia 

Sherabutty 

Halvagadhya 

Tinpakhalia (Kamoda) 

Ban gal ia 

Welch! 

Rajavil 

Tinpakhalia (black) 

Chinor or Central Provinces 

Daudkhani of Bengal 

Banktulai do. 

Kandhunipagal 

Samudrabali 

Bansmati 

B&Mbhog 

Patnai of Bengal 

Ramsal 

Karpurkati 

Kalajira 

Balam 

Bansphul (local) 

Srikole (do.) 

Mobarajoa (do.) 

Batasfeni (do.) 

Sheila (do.) 

Bagami of the Punjab 

Bansmati (do.) .. 



Average 
yield of 
grain per acre. 

... 1,885 
... 1,351 
... 1,370 
... 1,160 
... 1,470 

695 

... 1,010 
... 1,300 
... 1,160 

710 

786 

202 

... 1,113 
... 1,413 
... 1,680 
... 1,460 

906 

... 1,278 
... 1,516 
... 2,000 
... 1,100 
... 1,253 
... 1,040 
. 1,080 
... 2,150 
... 1,476 
.. 2,150 
... 1,210 
... 1,400 

510 
1,110 



Average 

yield of 

straw per acre. 

4,968 

4,180 

4,533 

4,063 

5,890 

4,560 

4,780" 

4,710 

6,180 

4,080 

5,430 

2,850 

4,190 

4,800 

5,066 

5,466 

4,233 

3,650 

4,291 

4,480 

4,350 

5,710 

4,500 

4,500 

5,000 

4,936 

5,591 

4,865 

5,080 

2,965 

2,230 



38,942^31 = 1,256 Ib. 142,127 -r 31 4,584 Ib. 



From the above table, it seems, the Moharajoa variety of Behar 
paddy, the Patnai variety of a paddy grown near Calcutta, the 
superior Sukvel paddy of Bombay and the Bddsdbhog are the most 
prolific. Two other prolific paddies may be mentioned which 
belong to Chittagong, the Chandramuni variety of fine Aua, and the 
Rasail variety of Aman, which is also a fairly fine variety. 

M, HA 12 



178 



HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 



Mixed Rlct drops. The mixture of bora smdrdydd paddies has 
been already mentioned. Aman and Aus are often grown mixed 
in the same field, e.g., in Rajshahi and Chittagong. When a mixed 
crop like this is grown, usually a full crop of Aus and only a 12-anna 
crop of Aman is obtained, if everything goes well. But if there 
is short rainfall early or late in the season, one or the other of the 
crops fails more or less. 36 seers of Aus and 18 seers of Aman 
seed are sown broadcast together per acre. The sowing is preced- 
ed by a ploughing and followed by a ploughing and two ladderings. 
After the seeds have germinated, the field is once ploughed and 
twice levelled with the ladder. The ladder is used again a week 
after. The bidia or bullock-rake is also passed, and one or two 
hand-weedings given afterwards. It is obvfous that this rough 
treatment is withstood only because such a large quantity of seed 
is sown broadcast in an irregular manner. 

The description of rice cultivation in the Sunderbans, given in 
Dr. Watt's Dictionary, is of considerable interest, and should be 
studied by those who have any intention of taking up lands in the 
Sunderbans. 

* Chemical Composition. Rice is deficient in mineral and nitrogen- 
ous matters. The average composition is 

Water ... ... ... ... 13 7 

Ash ... ... ... 1 

Fat ... ... ... 1 

Nitrogenous matter treated as albuminoids . 7 

Fibre ... ... ... \\ 

Starch ... ... ... ... 76 

So-called glutinous rice has not any more nitrogen than 
ordinary rice. Rice contains a higher proportion of phosphoric 
acid but a lower proportion of potash and nitrogen than wheat. 
The husk of rice contains a great deal of silica and is of little feed- 
ing value ; but the kunra or rice-dust, consisting, as it does, largely 
of the inner husk and germ of the grain, is richer than rice in 
feeding value, the average composition of this substance being 



Water 

Ash 

Fat 

Nitrogenous matter treated aa albuminoids 

Fibre 

Starch 



11 % 

9 

14 

13 

8 

45 



Containing a high proportion of oil, kunra gets rancid by keep- 
ing, and i't should be therefore used as fresh as possible. The water 
in which the rice is boiled renders the cooked rice still more deficient, 
especially in ash constituents, than uncooked or steamed rice. 



FADDY HUSKING. 179 

CHAPTER XXV. 

PADDY HUSKING. 

[Unhusked Paddy to be stored ; Protection of rice with carbon-bisulphide : the 
Dhenki ; the Engelberg Huller ; Trial of Ghatak's Huller ; Burn & Co.'s 
Winnower ; Comparison of Cost ; Bullock-power Engelberg Huller ; Engel- 
berg Winnower ; Rukhal Das Khan's Hullers.] 

PADDY is safer to store in godowns for a long time than rice, 
but even rice can be stored free from weevils and other pests if 
carbon-bisulphide is used, say lib. for every 20 maunds of rice stored 
in air-tight vessels, such as jalas tarred inside and out, and cov- 
ered with sharas sealed up with cow-dung paste after the jalas have 
been filled with rice. Carbon-bisulphide is a highly explosive sub- 
stance, and it should be never brought close to fire. 

The husking of paddy should be deferred for 7 or 8 months after 
harvest, but if steaming is done, very little breakage takes place even 
in the case of new rice. As a precaution against famine, the stor- 
ing of new paddy for about eight months before husking and sale 
of rice are undertaken, should again come into fashion, as it used 
to be in olden times. Village-unions and agricultural banks should 
insist upon this. 

The ordinary method of husking paddy with dhenkis, or tread- 
mills, is too well known to need description. Of all the mechanical 
appliances in use in the New and the Old worlds, the Rice Huller 
and Polisher manufactured by the Engelberg Huller Co. of Syra- 
cuse, New York, is the most popular. In Surat, however, German 
machinery is supplanting the Engelberg Huller and Polisher. There 
are several mills in Southern India and in the Punjab, where this 
Huller and Polisher are in use, and some of these machines have, 
been lately set up at Howrah. The Rice Huller and Polisher manu- 
factured by Messrs. S. Howes & Co. of London is a machine which 
scarcely differs from the Engelberg Rice Huller and Polisher ; 
and Ghatak's Rice Huller is only a cheap and inefficient imitation 
of these machines. With Ghatak's hand-power (or foot-power) 
paddy-husking machine, fine paddy has to be put through the mill 
at least 12 times before complete husking takes place. 

Ghatak's Bullock-powtr Paddy-husking Machine, as modified and sold 
by Messrs. Burn & Co. for Rs. 60 only, is well adapted for use in 
jails and also for famine operations. The rice from this mill does 
not get broken, but there is a proportion of paddy in it even 
after three turns, and it is more unclean than ordinary bazar rice. 
At a trial held at Messrs. Burn & Co.'s workshop at Howrah on the 
12th January, 1901, the following information was gathered : T|ie 
trial lasted for 2 hours exactly. The paddy used was new paddy 
of the Kataribhog variety grown at Sibpur. It had been steamed 
and dried before the trial. The quantity used for a full charge 
was 29 seers. Instead of 2 bullocks, 8 men were employed at the 



180 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

shaft and one man for feeding the mill. The paddy came out at 
the vent at the bottom only partially husked the first time ; it had 
to be run through the mill twice more before a satisfactory result 
was obtained. The rice obtained at the third turn weighed after 
winnowing 17 seers. The winnowing machine, which is quite a 
separate machine, is priced Ks. 65. It does its work very well 
and it is capable of winnowing 40 to 50 maunds of rice per day. 

The mill looks from outside like an ordinary ghani or kalu 
(oil-mill). The vertical cylinder worked by the bullock-shaft has 
attached to it three sets of slanting vanes. The cylinder is kept in 
position by rings joined to the outer cask of the mill by three sets 
of bars. The paddy in working its way down from the hopper 
through the bars into the vent is subjected to the squeezing 
action of the vanes. It is by this action that the husk gets 
detached from the rice, in the same way as the detachment 
takes place if paddy is rubbed or squeezed between the palm 
and the thumb. 

Comparing the cost of husking paddy with the dhenki with that 
of husking it with Messrs. Burn & Co.'s mill, it will be found that 
there is some advantage in favour of the latter for husking 
coolie rice, i.e., coarse rice for consumption by poor people. The 
29 seers of paddy filled the mill at first, but as the twisting 
action went on, the volume steadily diminished. The trial 
would have given a better result if the mill had been kept filled 
up by a continuous supply of paddy or partially husked rice. From 
the trial itself, however, it could be inferred that each maund of 
rice would cost about 4 annas husking with this mill. The wages 
of 1 man for 2 hours may be taken as 9 pies, and the cost of 
keep of a pair of bullocks for one-fourth of a day as 1 anna. 17 seers 
of rice costing 1 anna 9 pies, each maund would cost about 4 annas, 
exclusive of the cost of steaming and drying the paddy. One 
woman can steam and dry 3 maunds of paddy per diem from which, 
with the dhenki, 2 maunds of clean rice is obtained. So the cost of 
steaming and drying per maund of rice turned out is put down at 
one anna. To husk 3 maunds of paddy with the dhenki 6 women 
are required. Thus the wages of 7 women, i.e., about 14 annas, are 
needed for obtaining 2 maunds of clean rice. So the difference 
in favour of Messrs. Burn & Co.'s system is 2 annas per maund of 
clean rice. The rice turned out is, however, somewhat inferior 
to ordinary bazar rice, and if this makes a difference of 2 annas 
or more per maund, there is no advantage in introducing Messrs. 
Burn & Co.'s machine. But, as already pointed out, continuous 
feeding would have considerably diminished the cost. 

As to the quantity that the machine turns out per diem, on the 
17 seers basis, we can expect only 68 seers per day of 8 hours per 
day. Even with continuous feeding probably not more than 5 
maunds of clean rice could be expected per day. If it does this 
much, the cost of husking comes to only about l| annas per maund 



PADDY HUSKING. 



181 



of clean rice, which is a great improvement over 7 annas per maund, 
which is the average cost of husking with the dhenki. If, however, 
instead of 2 bullocks, 8 prisoners are employed in jails for husking 
paddy with Burn & Co.'s mill, the advantage in, its favour 
disappears. 

A rice-mill driven by a portable engine and turning out 140 
maunds of white rice per day is also advertised by Messrs. Burn & 
Co. for Rs. 7,700, the engine and the paddy smutter being priced 
separately. 

The " Engelberg " Eice Huller (Fig. 62), an* American ma- 
chine sold by Messrs. Marshall & Sons, and by Messrs. Macbeth 
Brothers & Co., of Calcutta,, 
and which can be seen at 
work at Ramkristopore, 
Howrah, yields 3001bs. of 
cleaned rice per hour. It is 
capable of dealing with fine 
as well as coa.rse varieties 
of paddy, both unsteamed 
and steamed, and the husk- 
ing is done completely in 
one operation. The machine 
itself, without tfre oil or 
steam-engine required to 
drive it, weighs only 500ft s., 
and it occupies a superficial 
space of 3ft. square. The 
power required to drive it is 
about 4-H.P., and with 
16-H.P. engine a set of four 
machines can be worked. 
For a single machine an 
oil-engine without a boiler 
is quite sufficient, and being 
driven direct by a belt from 
the engine, the arrangement is very simple to manage. If a special 
mechanic is employed to look after the engine and the paddy-husking 
machine, it is best to employ a set of four or five machines driven 
by a 16-H.P. steam engine furnished with a boiler. The cost of 
a single huller is Rs. 1,100, of a separating fan or winnower for 
taking out the dirt, sticks, straw, and stones from the paddy, 
Rs. 125 ; and of *a grader for separating rice of different sizes, 
Rs. 100. A 12-H.P. (nominal) engine (which usually generates 15 
to 16 indicated H. P.) can be bought in Calcutta for about 
Rs. 5,000 and four sets of hullers would cost Rs. 4,400. Thus 
for about Rs. 10,000 the whole plant (exclusive of buildings) 
can be set up. 

The cost of working the engine will consist of (1) the price 
of coal used, (2) the wages of the mechanic, and an attendant to the 



a S 




FlG. 62.--EN(JELBKK(i HULLEU. 



182 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

hullers, and (3) price of oil used for lubricating the engine and 
huller. If there is a well or tank near at hand, there should not be 
any extra expense in keeping the boiler supplied with water. The 
expenditure of coal used may be put down at 4fts. per H.P. per 
hour, which for a 16-H.P. engine working for nine hours a day is 
equal to 4x 16x9~5761bs. or about seven maunds costing about 
Rs. 2-8. The wages of the mechanic may be put down at Re. 1 a day, 
and of the attendant at 5 annas a day. Inclusive of oil the daily 
cost will thus come to about Rs. 4. Interest and depreciation at 
10% calculated on the capital of Rs. 10,000 will come to another 
Rs. 5 per day, if the work of the machine is distributed over 200 days 
in the year. The, outturn per hour from four sets of hullers being 
l,203tbs. daily, 10,800, or, say, 10,000, tbs. of clean rice can be ob- 
tained. So the cost comes to less than a rupee for every l,000ffis. 
(about 12 maunds) of cleaned rice turned out. This is at least four 
times cheaper than the rate at which paddy husking can be done 
with the ordinary village appliances. 

The Engelberg Rice Huller and Polisher No. 3, the cost of which 
at Syracuse, New York, U. S. A., is $150 (say Rs. 450 to Rs. 500 
landed in Calcutta), meets the demands of smaller capitalists or farm- 
ers who do not require to shell such a large quantity of paddy as 
indicated above. Not being such a powerful machine as the Hullers 
Nos. 1 & 2 which are adapted for steam-power, the paddy used for 
Huller No. 3 must be free from sticks, straws, and grit. It requires 
two horse-power to drive it, and a high-speed horse or bullock gear 
may be employed for the purpose. The Engelberg Huller Company 
supply horse-gear for 65 dollars. Two pairs of powerful Hissar bul- 
locks may be employed to drive it instead of two horses. The out- 
turn of clean rice per hour from this huller is about 70tbs., which is 
equivalent to about seven maunds per day. The whole of the capi- 
tal outlay inclusive of bullocks (but exclusive of the building or 
shed) in this case would be about Rs. 1,000. The pay of the two 
attendants, ,one looking after the bullocks and the other feeding 
the huller and removing sacks of rice when full, need not exceed 
6 annas a day in a country-place, and the feed of the 4 bullocks 
need not cost more than 8 annas a day. The cost of husking in 
this case, therefore, comes to only about 3 annas per maund of 
rice turned out, inclusive of interest on capital and wear and tear. 

We have, in discussing the efficiency of Messrs. Burn & Co/s Mill, 
already given the average cost of husking paddy with the dhenki. 
It is possible with the help of expert women to get more work out 
of Jbhe dhenki. Two parties of such women, one*working from 6 to 
12 in the morning and the other from 12 to 6 in the evening, can 
turn out from four maunds of paddy, an average quantity of either 
2| maunds (more exactly 2 maunds 25 seers) of steamed (siddha) 
rice, or 2 J maunds of unsteamed (atap) rice. In obtaining the former, 
an extra woman besides the three at the dhenki is required for 
steaming and drying the paddy and thus keeping the supply at the 
dhenki uninterrupted. Two parties of four women at 2 annas a day 



FADDY HUSKING. 183 

will cost 1 rupee, and the cost of husking thus comes to about 6 
annas per maund. In the case of atap rice where no steaming has 
to be done, the cost conies to about 5| annas per maund under the 
most favourable conditions. The advantage of having rice husk- 
ed by the Engelberg Huller is thus obvious. 

The working parts of the machine, being made of chilled steel, 
are extremely substantial. Still the outer coat of the paddy is 
a very tough substance, and no machine can work this grain, without 
undergoing some wear and tear, which has been allowed for in the 
above calculations. The huller-screen (duplicates of which cost 
only 2 dollars each) is the part of the machine which requires 
renewing from time to time, say, 4 or 5 times evejy year. The cylin- 
der also is apt to get worn out, and although the blade-adjusting 
screw helps to keep the space between the blades on the cylinder 
and the cylinder-shell properly adjusted, the huller cannot be ex- 
pected to work when the blades get altogether worn out, which they 




FIG. 63. ENGKLBERG HULLER (BULLOCK-POWKH). 

do in three or four years. These cannot be renewed in this country, 
and a duplicate huller-cylinder costs in New York 20 dollars. The 
paddy must be fed into the hopper of the huller in the same condi- 
tion in which it is considerd necessary to feed the mortar of the 
dhenki. In the case of unsteamed paddy, the paddy should be 
sunned and then spread out for a night in a cool (cemented) floor 
before it is husked the next day. The breakage is greater if the 
paddy is not properly dried in the sun and also if it is in a brittle 
condition immediately after exposure to the sun in a hot day. In 
the case of steamed paddy the outturn is nearly 10 per cent, more 
both with the dhenki and with the Engelberg Huller. The produce 
of steamed rice is on the average 68 per cent, and of unsteamed 
rice 50 per cent, of the paddy used, a result which is equal to what 
is obtained with dhenkis. 

The Engelberg Huller Company also supply a gear for man- 
power to drive Huller No. 3, a shaft being moved round by 12 men 
and the motion communicated to a pulley to which the huller is 



184 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

attached by a leather belt. At least 20 Indian coolies would be 
needed to work this gear, and the cost for tusking per maund of rice 
would thus come to over 8 annas. There would be therefore no 
advantage in having this gear unless the shaft is adapted for attach- 
ing bullocks, wKich can be easily done as shown in the figure 63. 
The price of this man-power at New York is 75 dollars. It is easier 
to adapt this for bullock-power than the horse-gear already men- 
tioned above. The huller and the pulley or bullock-gear should be 
both placed in a circular hollow, and the shaft driving the pulley 
should work above, the bullocks being attached to the end of the 
shaft and going round and round above the hollow. A railing or a 
parapet should protect the bullocks from slipping into the hollow 
through any accident. 

Huller No. 2 is constructed without the fan or polisher, a 
separate arrangement being made for a polisher, the rice being 
conveyed from a series of 10 or 12 hullers to a single polisher 
placed at the end of the series. For large mills this huller is better 
adapted than the more complete one represented in Fig. 62 where 
the polisher is enclosed at the lower portion of each huller. Huller 
No. 2 not being provided with the polisher costs less (about 
Ks. 900 instead of Rs. 1,100). The price of a separate polisher 
capable of cleaning 2,400 to 3,6001bs. of rice per hour is 300 
dollars (about Rs. 1,000). For a large mill, Huller No. 2, and a 
separate polisher for each series of 12 hullers, are the best to have. 

The winnowing machine supplied by the Engelberg Company 
is priced at 30 dollars, i.e., it would cost about Rs. 125 brought out 
to India. It is scarcely distinguishable from Dell's Winnower. 

A very ingenious mechanic, of the name of Rakhal Das Khan, of 
Howrah, has constructed a number of steam-power, bullock-power, 
and hand-power rice hullers and polishers, which do excellent work. 
For want of capital he is unable to push his business, but his 
machines are certainly worthy of extended patronage. The hand- 
power machine is priced only Rs. 10, and it does the husking in 
one operation, but not polishing. The bullock-power huller and 
polisher he has priced at Rs. 400. It consists of a huller and polisher 
and a winnower, all worked simultaneously by a pair of bullocks. 
With this polished rice is obtained in one operation. The daily out- 
turn of rice from this machine is about 20 maunds. Five sets of 
hullers, polishers, and winnowers are simultaneously worked by a 
steam engine. From each set 50 maunds of rice is either husked or 
polished. The polishing is best done by adding with each maund of 
unpolished rice only half a seer of dust (kunrd) of unsteamed rice, 
and passing it through a set of hullers and winnowers. With five 
sets of hullers 250 maunds are either husked or polished, and with 
one set of winnower 250 maunds of rice can be divested of husk and 
cleaned. Each set of huller or winnower is priced at Rs. 300. If 
to this is added Rs. 5,000 for purchase of an engine and boiler, the 
total cost of machinery will cost (Rs. 300 x 5-f Rs. 300 +Rs. 5,000 
= Rs. 6,800, and with leather straps &nd a shed, the capital charg 



WHEAT. 185 

will be at least Rs. 8,000. As each part of this machine is made 
in the country, it can be also renewed in the country, and for this 
reason alone it should be regarded as a better machine than the 
Engelberg Huller, or the German machinery which have been found 
better than the Engelberg Huller in Surat. In the hands of 
a capitalist Rakhal Das Khan's machines will have a great future 
before them. It may be mentioned that now Babu Kakhal Das 
Khan has taken to constructing boilers and steam engines, and a 
J-H.P. boiler with steam engine and a set of husking and polishing 
machine is priced only at Rs. 500. It husks 45 maunds of rice a day, 
and if polished rice is wanted, the daily produce out of this machine 
is 25 maunds. I commend these as well as the dal-splitting machine 
invented by this gentleman to the notice of my countrymen. 



CHAPTER XXVI. 

WHEAT (TRITICUM SATIVUM). 

^Classification ; Excellence of Indian Wheats ; the best varieties ; the Muxafter- 
nagar Wheat; Acreage ; Soil; Cultivation ; Manuring; Rotation ; Harvest ; 
Outturn; Improvements suggested.] 

WHEATS are divided into two main classes, soft and hard. 
The latter are more glutinous, rendering the grain more suitable 
for making semolina (suji), while the *oft, starchy grains are 
especially suitable for the production of fine flour or maidd. 
Wheats are also divided according to the colour of the grain into 
white and red. The following races or strains of wheat are recog- 
nised in Bengal : 

(1) Dudhid wheat especially suitable for making fine flour, 
maidd grain white, soft, plump, and rounded ; leaves usually 
broader than those of other varieties. 

(2) Jdmdli wheat grain fairly large, soft, pale-red ; leaves 
narrow. 

(3) GANG A JALI wheat grain pale-grey, large, hard, elon- 
gated, with somewhat angular outline, difficult to break or bite. 
Best adapted for making suji and atta (whole meal). Leaves 
broad. 

(4) KHERI wheat hard, pale-grey grains of medium size ; 
leaves narrow. 

(5) PIUSA wheat grain soft, pale-grey, very small ; leaves 
narrow. 

(6) NANBIA wheat grain hard, reddish, very small ; leaves 
narrow. 

A variety of the Jdmdli wheat (soft red wheat) is called Mag- 
hia, as it ripens very early, in Magh or Falgun (about February). 
A bald or beardless variety of dark brown but soft grained wheat, 
grown in Singbhum, is locally known as Ghyochangmed. All the 
other Bengal wheats are more or less bearded. 

Better classes of wheat are, however, grown in the Central Pro- 
vinces, the Punjab, and the United Provinces. In the Central 



186 



HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 



Provinces the best hard wheats are grown* while the best soft wheats 
are grown in Northern India, in the basins of the Ganges and the 
Indus, and their tributaries. In Southern India, in the moist parts 
of the Gangetic Delta, in Orissa, and in Burma poor hard red wheats 
are grown, and a tendency has been noticed for high class wheats 
to degenerate in these regions. In the United Provinces, Central 
Provinces, and Behar soft white wheats realise higher values than 
any others. The relative value of Indian, English, and some other 
high class wheats can be judged from the following figures : 





Wt. of 100 
separate 
grains. 


Impurities. 


Percentage of 
gluten by 
water test. 


Yield of 
flour. 




grns. avdps. 








1. Soft white Indian wheat 


55-4 


i-52 % 


6-6 


75% 


2. Soft red Indian wheat ... 


51-8 


0'72 


9*9 


76,, 


3. Hard white Indian 










wheat. 


68-3 


3-7 


12-1 


77 


4. Hard red Indian wheat . 


77-7 


1-2 i 13-2 


76,, 


5. English wheat 


57-4 ' 


1-5 11-0 


69,, 


6. Australian wheat 


80'5 


i-o 


11-9 


72 


7. Rus s i a n (8 a x o n s k a 










wheat). 


37-3 


0*9 


22-6 


72,, 



From the above table it would seem that Indian wheat com- 
pares very favourably with other wheats, and it is superseded only 
by the finest Russian and Australian varieties. The Indian wheat 
is also remarkably free from excess of moisture and is therefore well 
adapted for mixing with English wheats which are too moist. The 
thinness of skin of Indian wheats and the consequent largeness of 
yield must always place them in the front rank as millers' wheat, 
whenever they are handled with intelligence. Indeed, Indian wheats 
are fully known in the English market, and their value is equal to that 
of some of the best European and American wheats. 

The names of the Indian wheats which are prized as equal 
to any in the world are : (1) Gundun Safed of Delhi, (2) Daudiof 
Unao in Oudh, (3) Saman of Bulandshahr and Meerut in the Uni- 
ted Provinces, (4) Safed of Dera Ismail Khan in the Punjab, 
(5) White Pissi of the Central Provinces, (6) Buxar No. 1 Club wheat, 
and (7) Muzaffernagar wheat. The weight per bushel of Indian 
wheat varies from 60 to 65 ffis., while the recognised weight of a 
bushel of English wheat is 63tbs. Calcutta wheat is burdened with 
a refraction of 5 per cent., and Bombay wheat of 4 per cent., in the 
English market, which only induces cultivators or mahajans to mix 
earth or other foreign matter with the wheat. In post-monsoon 
consignments the impurities in Indian wheat are chiefly due to 
weevils. The Agricultural Departments of Northern India have 
succeeded in popularising the Muzaffernagar wheat, which is as 
good as any of the soft white wheats. The demand in recent 
years, however, has tended to be rpore and more for hard wheats, 



WHEAT. 187 

owing to their better baking qualities, and a hard high-yielding 
wheat suitable for many parts of Northern India has been bred at 
the agricultural research station at Pusa, which is being now spread 
over some of the wheat-growing districts. 

India is, next to the United States and Canada, the largest 
wheat-producing country in the world, and the significance of this 
fact is very great when we consider England's relation with India, 
as England depends mainly on imported wheat, and India is supply- 
ing a large proportion of this. The production of wheat in the 
provinces under direct British rule has been estimated at 35,000,000 
to 40,000,000 quarters, i.e., about the same quantity as is produced 
by Russia or France. Great Britain and Ireland produce only 
10,000,000 to 13,000,000 quarters per annum. 

Area. The area under wheat in India varies very much 
owing to the varying character of the seasons. The average 
is about twenty-five million acres. 

Of this area by far the larger proportion lies in North India, 
and the extension of canal irrigation in the Punjab and United 
Provinces has made these provinces relatively more and more 
important in this respect. Taken together they have about two- 
thirds of the wheat area. The Central Provinces, especially the 
Nerbudda Valley, stand next in importance, with about one-tenth 
of the total area, while Bombay follows closely. With the excep- 
tion of a few thousand acres in Mysore, there is no extensive area of 
wheat grown in India south of Bombay and the Nizam's Dominions. 

So far as Bengal and the new province of Behar and 
Orissa are concerned, the wheat area seems chiefly concentrated 
in the parts lying north and west of Calcutta. The largest areas 
are found in the districts lying in and on the borders of Bihar, 
Bhagalpur, Gaya, Patna, Champaran, Monghyr are among the dis- 
tricts which grow most of this crop. To the east and north-east 
of Calcutta, that is to say in Eastern Bengal and in Assam, practi- 
cally no wheat is grown at all. 

Irrigation. Wheat is always a rabi crop, and it is apparent 
from the figures quoted that a dry and fairly cold winter is favour- 
able for the growth of wheat. Districts which are always moist 
and warm are unsuitable for growing this crop. With the exception 
of a few sandy tracts, the value of irrigation for wheat is doubtful 
in Bengal, and the crop in clay soils is usually raised without irri- 
gation. The advantage in favour of irrigation, however, is great 
in the United Provinces and the Punjab. In the former, the 
average yield of wheat in unirrigated areas is SOOlbs. and in irrigated 
areas l,2501bs. per acre ; and in the latter, 5761bs. in unirrigated 
areas and9171bs. in irrigated areas. In the Bombay Presidency the 
difference is still greater in favour of irrigation, l,250ffis. per acre 
being the yield of irrigated areas against 510tbs., the yield of 
those unirrigated. The difference in the Central Provinces is about 
the same as is in the case of the Punjab. 



183 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

Soil. Clay-loam, easy of irrigation, situated in a dry*locality> 
is the best soil to choose for wheat. Sandy loams are also utilised 
for growing wheat, especially dearh or new alluvial lands, where 
mixtures of wheat and barley or wheat and mustard or linseed 
are commonly taken. The best crops of wheat are grown on lands 
newly brought under canal-irrigation. Where canal-water is used 
for irrigation for a number of years the outturn is found to fall off 
even below the original level. This is due (1) to excessive use of 
water for irrigation which washes away valuable food-constituents 
and brings up to the soil undesirable soluble salts, and (2) exhaus- 
tion caused by the taking of heavy crops at first without manure. 

Cultivation. Shortly, the land is to be ploughed and cross- 
ploughed, first with the country plough or some improved plough 
and then cultivated with the grubber, as often as convenient, and 
operations commenced as soon after the rains are over as possible. 
When by ploughing, cross-ploughing, grubbing, harrowing, and roll- 
ing, land has been prepared deeply and thoroughly (all the opera- 
tions following close one upon another, that there may be no undue 
loss of moisture), seed should be sown by drilling. At least a fort- 
night's time must be allowed for the proper aerification of soil be- 
tween the first ploughing and the sowing. If rolling or laddering 
is done after each operation there will be Jittle loss of moisture in a 
fortnight's time soon after the monsoons are over. Deep culti- 
vation is advisable for the wheat crop, hence grubbing is recommend- 
ed. Sowing should be done after the cold weather properly sets 
in, i.e., somewhat later than when barley and other rabi crops are 
sown." The middle of November is ordinarily the best time for 
Lower Bengal. In rocky and laterite soils sowing should be done 
earlier, say about the 20th or 25th October, or earlier still if the 
rains cease early in October. About lOOlbs. of seed are commonly 
used per acre, but this is too much. SOlbs. are quite enough. After 
sowing, the field should be divided out into irrigation-beds by scrap- 
ing up little banks of earth with a wooden shovel which is usually 
worked by two boys in the United Provinces. This wooden shovel 
may very well be introduced into practice in Bengal for making 
little irrigation-beds. If the soil is too dry, it should be irrigated 
before sowing. Three or four irrigations altogether are ample for 
dry localities ; but one or two irrigations are usually required, though 
in moist tracts irrigation may be altogether dispensed with for the 
wheat and barley crops. In such tracts, however, wheat does not 
do well. Where the natural climatic conditions in any season are 
exceptionally favourable, no irrigation may be required. One 
hand-weeding should be done within a week or ten days after the 
first watering. Two hoeings with the American wheel-hoe may be 
given afterwards to promote the growth of the crop. 

Manure. Saltpetre 1J maund per acre (top-dressed) is the 
best manure for wheat. If the land is known to be poor, 1 J maund 
of bonemeal should be used beforehand at the time of ploughing, 



WHEAT. 189 

though no immediate benefit will be derived from such application. 
Five maunds of oil-cake may be used instead. But better immediate 
effect will be obtained from the saltpetre. The best manure to apply 
varies much, however, with the locality, and no general statements 
can be made. No manure is required for dearh land which is annu- 
ally renovated with silt. 

Rotation. Juar or other millets and wheat are commonly 
grown in rotation, though both are grain-crops. Juar and bar- 
ley being surface feeders may be grown together or successively 
with wheat which is a deep-rooted crop. But better result would 
be obtained from Kulthi, or Bhadoi Mung, or Bhadoi Kalai being 
grown before wheat. Lentils or gram grown along with wheat is, 
theoretically speaking, not a bad practice as the leguminous crop 
supports the wheat-crop and prevents exhaustion of soil ; but mix- 
ed crops with wheat are found to be undesirable for more than one 
reason. 

Harvest. The wheat harvest should be commenced after the 
grains are quite ripe and the straw quite dry and crisp. 

Outturn. 9 or 10 maunds per acre is about the average yield 
of grain, and 10 to 12 maunds of straw. 

Cost (in Bengal) 

Bs. A. p. 

1 Ploughing ... ... ... 12 

1 Cross-ploughing followed by laddering ... 12 

1 Bakharing ... ... ... ... 60 

1 Cross-bakharing ... ... ... 060 

1 Grubbing ... ... ,. 060 

1 Cross-grubbing ... ... ... 060 

I Harrowing . ... ... ... 040 

1 Boiling ... ... ... ... 040 

1 Drilling* -. ... .. ... 1 00 

Cost of 501bs. of seed @ Bs. 3 per maund ... 2 

Cost of pickling .. ... ..080 

1 Boiling after sowing ... ... ... 40 

J Maund of saltpetre .-> ... ... 6 00 

Watering with saltpetre solution ... I 8 

1 Begular irrigation after application of saltpetre 280 

1 Hand-weeding ... .. 2 

2 Wheel-hoeings ... ... ... 1 20 

Reaping ... ... ... ... I 20 

Threshing and winnowing with machine ... 300 

Bent (half-year's) ... ... ... 1 80 

Depreciation on implements ... ... 80 

Total cost ... 26 80 



Produce 12 maunds of grain @ Bs. 3 ... 36 
and straw 16 maunds .. ... 1 8 



Total outturn ... 37 8 
Net profit per acre, about Bs. 11. 



* Cost of drilling seed with the help of an American wheel-hoe (I tine only 
being used) comes to nearly Re. 1 per acre. But with a proper seed-drill the 
cost would come to only about 6 annas per acre or less. 



190 



HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 



The points that should be borne in mind in extending the culti- 
vation of wheat in any part of India are : (1) the seed should be 
of the best variety suited to the locality in which it is grown ; (2) 
a rust-resisting variety should be chosen ; (3) the soil should be deep- 
ly cultivated, as deeper cultivation is required for wheat than for 
rice, barley, and oats ; (4) saltpetre should be used for top-dressing ; 
(5) it should not be sown mixed with other crops, and the seed used 
should be unmixed and select, and the threshing should be as clean as 
possible ; (6) sowing should not be done until the cold weather fairly 
sets in, barley and oats being sown earlier in the season ; (7) if 
there is not sufficient moisture at the time, land should be irrigated 
and bakhared afterwards before sowing ; (8) wheat should be twice 
irrigated, if possible, in wheat districts proper, and the sites chosen 
for wheat land should therefore be close to water ; (9) harvesting 
should be done after the grain is thoroughly ripe ; (10) grain should 
be stored so that there may be complete protection against weevils. 
Paddy and oats are not so subject to the attack of weevils as wheat, 
and cultivators often find their wheat seed completely destroyed 
by weevils at sowing time, and their sowing of wheat seed results 
always in more or less partial germination. (11) Wheat seed 
should be isown after pickling, to avoid smut, insect-pests, and 
damage by birds. 

The subject of storing of grains against weevils and pickling 
will be discussed in the part devoted to Insect and Fungus Pests. 



CHAPTER XXVII. 
BARLEY (HORDEUM HEXASTICHUM). 

[Occurrence in wild state ; Two-rowed, four-rowed, and six-rowed Barley ; 
Composition of Indian Barley ; Huskies** Barley ; Cultivation ; Seed ; 
Cost; Barley Meal; Barley Straw; Exhaustion of Surface Soil.] 

Barley, like wheat, is one of the most ancient of cultivated 
crops, but the two-rowed barley (Hordeum distichum) alone has been 
discovered in the wild state in several parts of Central Asia, while 
wheat has not been so discovered. The six-rowed barley (Hordeum 
hexastichum) or bigg, which is the staple of Indian cultivation, has 
not been discovered in the wild state, though this is the variety which 
was cultivated in Europe, Asia, and Africa in very old times. The 
four-rowed barley (Hordeum vulgare) is the staple of European cul- 
tivation now. Probably the four-rowed and six-rowed barleys are 
derived from the wild two-rowed variety. Indian barley is richer 
in albuminoids than English barley. The composition of the for- 
mer is, on the average : 



Starch 

Cellulose 

Oil 

Albuminoids 

Ash 

Water 



63 per cent. 

7 
I 

11*5 
3 
12-5 



BARLEY. 



191 



Cultivation. Barley is grown to a small extent all over India 
and chiefly in the United Provinces either by itself, or mixed 
with wheat, or gram, or with peas, or lentils. The most favourite 
mixture is barley and gram. Barley and wheat as a mixture is not 
so popular, but barley as surface feeder and wheat as a sub-soil 
feeder may be grown together in rich soils. Rape (Brassica cam- 
pestris), mustard (Brassica vuncea), tdr&mani or tir&mird (Eruca 
sativa), and linseed are also grown along with barley. Lighter soil 
is preferred for barley than for wheat. The land is prepared, and 
the seed sown a little earlier in the season than wheat, unless they 
are sown together. About lOOlbs. of seed are used per acre. 
A little more seed is required for barley than for wheat, but 
lOOlbs. per acre is too liberal an allowance. Seed properly stored 
and protected against weevils germinates properly and smaller 
quantities of such seed are sufficient ; 60 to 701bs. of barley should 
be ample to sow an acre. Barley is a hardier crop than wheat 
and it does not require the same amount of weeding and 
irrigation, and it is not so subject to rust. It can be also grown 
more successfully in different climates than wheat, which does 
not do so well in warm and moist regions as barley does. One 
hoeing with the American (Planet Jr.) wheel-hoe and one 
manuring with 1 maund of saltpetre per acre may be applied 
with great advantage when the plants are above six inches 
high. In Bengal no irrigation is practised for barley. The 
harvesting should be done earlier than wheat, i.e., before the grains 
are very ripe. The cut sheaves may be made to stand with ears 
upwards, near the threshing floor and when the grains are quite 
dry they can be threshed or flailed out. 



Cost (in Bengal) 

1 Ploughing and cross-ploughing 

1 Bakharing and 1 cross-bakharing 

Seed (601bs.) ... 

Pickling the same 

Cost of sowing in drills 

Heaping 

Threshing and winnowing 

Irrigation, if necessary 

Manure, Imd. of saltpetre 

Applying the same with water 

Rent (half charged against this crop) 

Depreciation, etc. 



Outturn. 12mds. of grain at Rs. 2, and I6mds. of 

straw at 1 anna 
Net profit per acre, about ... 



H. A. P. 



1 


8 








12 





) 


8 








4 





1 








1 


8 





3 








1 


8 





4 








1 


8 





1 


8 








8 






18 8 



25 
6 



To separate the adherent glumes from barley grains Jmsking 
does not answer, frying or parching being necessary. Barley grain, 
parched and mixed with gram, is given to animals as food. Barley 
meal (sattu), prepared after parching, is eaten largely by up-country 



192 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

men and is given to animals also. Barley straw is not a safe straw 
to give to horses and cattle, as it is liable to cause colic, being bearded 
and spiney. It may be used for litter with great advantage. Bar- 
ley, leaving little crop-residue and being a surface feeder, is a greater 
exhauster of surface-soil than wheat or rice. For this reason this 
crop should be either sparingly grown, or only the ears should be 
harvested and the straw ploughed in. 



CHAPTER XXVIII. 

OATS (AVBNA SATIVA). 

[Soils suitable for this crop; Range of Temperature; Cultivation Seed; 
Harvesting ; Grown for fodder by irrigation.] 

OATS are a very minor crop in India, especially in Bengal. Like 
wheat and barley, oats may be grown on lands suitable for Aus 
paddy after the Aus paddy or jute has been harvested. This crops 
can be also grown well on dearh lands and low-lying lands which are 
dry by October and November. In fact, oats can be grown on all 
kinds of soil, light and heavy, rocky and calcareous, the best result 
of course being obtained from rich friable loam, somewhat lighter 
than typical wheat land. The range of temperature at which oats 
grow properly is greater than in the case of wheat or rice. The 
range of temperature at which oats will grow well is also very great. 

As soon as the rains have stopped in September or October 
the land should be ploughed and cross-ploughed and bakhared, 
then harrowed and rolled before drilling. Rotten cow.-dung, 150 
maunds per acre, applied on the land at the time of cultivation, 
and | maund or 30 seers of saltpetre top-dressed when the seedlings 
are about six inches high, give the best result. 501bs. of seed (which 
is lighter than wheat seed) is ample per acre. After drilling the 
seed, a light wooden roller should be passed to bury the seed and give 
compactness to the soil. Seed should be pickled with Sulphate of 
Copper as usual before sowing. One watering at the time of apply- 
ing the saltpetre in solution is necessary. If the crop looks vigorous 
and if the land is not very harsh and dry, no other watering will 
be required. One hand-hoeing and one wheel-hoeing with the 
Planet Jr. American hoe should be sufficient. 

The harvesting of oats requires special care, as it should be 
done when the grains are not fully ripe and the straw is still some- 
what green. Harvested late, the grains shed and the straw loses 
in feeding value. Oat-straw is more nutritious than rice or wheat 
straw. An acre should yield 20 maunds of grain and 30 maunds of 
straw cultivated as above. 

Oats are sometimes grown by irrigation to supply green fodder, 
e.g., at the Hissar Government Cattle Farm, where three cuttings 
of the green fodder are taken, and the fourth cutting left to bear a 
thin crop of grain. 



BHUTTA OB INDIAN COBN. 195 

CHAPTER XXIX. 

BHUTTA OR INDIAN CORN (ZEA MAYS). 

[Area ; Origin ; American maize ; Indian types ; Quality of food ; Straw as fod- 
der ; Manure ; Soil ; Cultivation ; Outturn ; Jaunpur maize ; Maize huller.] 

Area The area* under maize in British India is about six 
million acres, of which nearly two million acres are in Bengal and 
Bihar. In all the districts of the Patna Division, in Monghyr, 
Bhagalpur, Sonthal Parganas, Hazaribagh, Singhbhum and Dar- 
jiling, maize forms a principal article of diet among the poor. 

Classification. This plant has not been discovered in the wild 
state. In remote antiquity it was not known in the Old World, 
but grown only by the Peruvians and the Mexicans. It has been, 
however, found suitable for nearly every climate, and it is now 
grown successfully in the cold hills of Sikkim and Bhutan, as well 
as in the hot and arid soil of Manbhum and Singhbhum. It does 
Well in the moist climate of Bengal and in the dry climate of the 
United Provinces, Rajputana and the Punjab. The American 
varieties are the best, but these introduced into India, degenerate 
into types similar to those grown in India in the course of a few 
generations. Improvement on the lines of cultivating the best 
Indian maizes only, seems to be the most practical way of dealing 
with the question. Originally maize must have come from America 
to India, but there are now regular Indian types. The three recog- 
nised Indian classes are : (1) large-cobbed dry-grain producing 
class, usually yellow ; (2) the class that produces sweet and large 
green cobs, usually white, for roasting or boiling purposes ; and (3) 
the class that gives the best ' ' popped corn ' ' (or khai), which is 
usually a many, but small-cobbed, class. White, yellow, red and 
black varieties are also distinguished, and then there is the further 
distinction between kharif and rabi maize, also between those which 
take only about three months growing and those which take as 
many as six. The stalks of maize being very tough and free from 
siliceous matter, are used in Germany for making high class paper. 
Bank-notes are made from maize-stalk pulp. Attempts may be 
made to grow maize largely in the vicinity of Indian paper mills 
and induce the paper manufacturers to use maize-stalks. 

Cornflour. Maize grain, both green and dry, cooked and 
uncooked, is somewhat difficult to digest. But made into meal and 
cooked, it is easily digested. Cornflour is manufactured by first 
steeping the maize in hot water and then grinding it between large 
mill-stones. The pulp is then passed through sieves into hug$ 
vats where the cornflour settles, the gluten remaining in the sieves. 
Maize diet gives the tendency to accumulate internal fat which is 
injurious to working animals like bullocks and horses. If cattle 
are fed with maize it should be given mixed with other food, such 
as straw, grass and oil-cake. Too much maize produces acute 

M, HA 13 



194: HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

indigestion, colic, impaction of the rumen, swelled legs, etc. But 
climate and habit have a great deal to do with the question of diet. 
Bhutia ponies and Sonthal coolies are able to digest maize even 
outside their own native climate. Maize contains more fat and is 
more fattening than other grains if it can be digested. The cobs 
divested of grains are rich in carbonate of potash, containing as 
much as 1*762 per cent., i.e., twice as much as is contained in wood, 
and they should, therefore, be thrown into the manure pit. The 
straw is not of much value as fodder (except for elephants), if the 
cobs are allowed to ripen ; but if the cobs are disposed of in the 
green state, maize-stalks are as valuable for fodder as juar stalks, 
specially if they are converted into silage. 

Manuring and Rotation. Maize is an exhausting crop and it 
requirevS heavy manuring or very good soil to produce good 
yield. Carrots are frequently sown in the United Provinces between 
the lines of rabi maize, while the crop is still standing, especially 
when drought is threatened. The leaves of the carrots are given 
to cattle and the roots are eaten by people. In years of heavy rain- 
fall, gram, poppy, mustard or safflower follows maize. But wheat 
or barley is often grown after maize, though it is against the 
principle of rotation of crops to do so. In some parts of the Punjab 
three crops are taken in succession in the same year from the same 
land. Melon is grown after wheat or barley is off the ground in 
March and the land is prepared early in July for the maize crop as 
by then the melon crop is over. 

Soil. Maize prefers high open and even rough gritty soil, 
with plenty of humus in it. The hilly regions of the Darjeeling dis- 
trict are especially suited for growing high class maizes. In Lohar- 
daga, Singhbhum, Manbhum and in Bihar districts also, large crops 
of maize are obtained especially near homestead lands. The damp 
alluvial low-lands of Bengal are not so suited for this crop, if it is 
intended for grain. But homesteads, throughout Bengal, where 
no water-logging takes place, are well adapted for growing maize 
for green cobs. Maize may be grown either as a kharif or a rabi 
crop, but it is not profitable to grow it as a rabi crop unless there are 
special facilities for irrigation. 

Cultivation. In May or June after a good shower of rain, land 
already ploughed up once in the cold weather, should be ploughed 
and cross-ploughed and harrowed, and the seed should be dibbled 
1| to 2 inches deep in regular lines eighteen inches apart at the 
rate of three to four seers per acre. When the plants are all well 
up, one hand-Weeding should be given. If the soil is found too 
dry three days after sowing and no rain is immediately expected, 
it is safe to irrigate the land once. Early sowing with irrigation (if 
necessary), gives much better result than late sowing when no 
irrigation is required owing to the monsoon being in full swing. 
Heavy rain does the greatest harm to maize-plants when they are 
yet of small size. No harm is done to maize-plants by heavy rains 



JUAR OR GREAT MILLET. 195 

if they come after they are nine to eighteen inches high. If irri- 
gation is easy, it is better to sow the seed in April or May after 
irrigation, or after a good shower of rain, as the drought subsequent 
to a free germination, is not so injurious to maize plants which 
are deep rooted plants, and irrigation may be resorted to, if there 
is prolonged draught. After one hand- weeding, two hoeings with 
the Planet Jr. hoe would give the plants a very good start. The 
use of saltpetre would be of further benefit. If the land is known 
to be poor, cowdung or some other general manure applied in 
the cold weather or before sowing would give better results. 
Continuous rainfall is not helpful to the growth of maize. There 
.should be periods of fair weather intervening between heavy showers 
of rain. Before the rains set in, earthing should be done that there 
may be no water-logging at the base of the plants. 

Outturn. It is more profitable to sell the green cobs and use 
the stalks for fodder wherever there is a demand for them than to 
let the grain ripen. The cobs can be picked and sold in June, 
July and August. If they are allowed to mature, harvesting should 
be done in September, or when the grains are quite red ripe and dry. 
In Bihar districts sowing takes place in July and harvesting from 
October to December according to variety. Ordinarily five to 
eight maunds of grain per acre is considered a fair yield, but 30 or 
40 rnds. are sometimes obtained. The value of a five to eight 
inaund crop is only about Rs. 10. An acre (if ravages of jackals 
are prevented) may produce 20,000 green cobs. If these are sold 
at an average price of 8 cobs per pice, the produce of one acre may 
come up to Es. 35 to Us. 40. In fact, about Rs. 40 were realised 
in 1898 and Rs. 75 in 1901 from the maize crop at the Sibpur Farm, 
out of nine- tenths of an acre only. Maize is a profitable crop to 
grow near large towns, where there is a ready market for the green 
cobs. The precaution of watching the crop day and night, not only 
against jackals but also against crows and other birds, squirrels, 
rats, and in some parts of the country, against pigs, monkeys and 
porcupines, is most essential. The Jaunpur variety has been found 
to be the most prolific and yet early. 

Hulling. It is convenient to use a maize-huller (Fig. 58) 
for detaching grains from the cobs. By Hailing or beating with 
sticks, the operation is done rather imperfectly. 



CHAPTER XXX. 

JUAR OR GREAT MILLET (SORGHUM VULGARE). 

{.Classification ; Varieties of sorghum vulgare ; Shalu juar worth introducing ; 
Composition of grain and straw ; fodder value of the crop ; Cultivation for 
grain and fodder ; Soil ; Drought-resisting property ; Smut ; Poisonous 
juar ; Feasibility of improvement in Nadia arid Murshidabad.] 

Varieties. This crop, though of minor importance in Bengal, 
is the staple grain-crop of many of the drier parts of India. Three 



196 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

varieties of sorghum should be recognized as of special merit : (1) 
Sugar Sorghum, Sorghum saccharatum, which yields several cuttings 
of sweet and palatable fodder ; (2) the Gahama or Karmi sorghum 
(Sorghum Roxburyhi), which yields the heaviest crops of fodder ; 
and (3) the Deo-dhan sorghum, the Cholam of Southern India (Sor- 
yhum vulyare), which yields the best grain, inferior only to the best 
wheat for bread-making. The first is also known as Sorgho or 
Imphe and is grown in America and Africa. There are three distinct 
varieties of Soryhum, vulyare, a Bhadoi variety, a winter or late 
variety, and a spring variety (called Shalu juar). In Bengal the 
Shalu variety should be introduced as a catch-crop, as the rice- 
crop is sometimes a failure, and no use is made of late rain in Octo- 
ber and November in districts where rice, maize and millet are the 
principal crops. 

Chemistry. The high value possessed by Sorghum grain will 
be evident from the following table : 

Albuminoids. Starch. Oil. 

Indian Sorghum ... ... 93% 72-3% 2' % 

Indian Rice ... ... 7*3 78'3 -f> 

Indian Wheat ... ... 135 68*4 12,, 

Indian Oats ... ... 10 1 56'0 2'3 

The following figures show the high value of green juar as fod- 
der compared to turnips which are greatly prized as fodder in Eng- 
land : 

Green Juar. Turnips. 

Water ... .. ... 8;V17 90-43 

Albuminoids ... - 2'5f> T04 

Starch and fat ... ... 1T14 789 

Ash ... ... ... 1'14 -64 

To the agricultural population, in many parts of India juar is 
8 more important crop than even wheat and rice. It yields a nourish- 
ing grain, and about the]same quantity per acre as wheat (900ffis.) 
and ten times as much in fuel and fodder as the ordinary cereal 
crops. As fodder crops are at a discount in India, the growing of 
superior varieties of juar for food and fodder should be encouraged 
as much as possible. When grain is allowed to ripen, the lower half 
of the juar stalk should be used for fuel and the upper half for fodder. 
But the best fodder is obtained from green juar just when the heads 
are visible, when it is in full vigour of growth and not too tall. 
Cut at this stage, it affords a .more nutritious fodder than turnips 
and a second and a third cutting, and sometimes even a fourth, 
may be also obtained if the land is cultivated after each cutting. 
The second cutting is of less nutrient value and weight, and 
third cutting of still less value, but these are obtained at the dry sea- 
son when there is great scarcity of fodder. The hard lower portion 
of juar stalks can be silaged and converted into fodder. 

Juar for fodder should be sown with the help of irrigation, 
if necessary, in May, and sowings should continue through June 



JUAR OR GREAT MILLET. 197 

and July, that there may be a succession of fodder crops of first, 
secon4 an d third cuttings, from July to March or April, a portion of 
which can be dried and preserved for use from April to June. The 
dry stalks should be stacked and thatched, either on high land, or 
over temporary cattle sheds. About 280 maunds per acre, i.e., 
about 22,000fts. is the average weight of the first cutting and the 
second and third cuttings if irrigated, produce as much again, or 
if left unirrigated but cultivated in proper season, about 10,000tbs. 
more. Dried, the fodder loses about two-thirds in weight. If 
the first cutting is taken when the rainy season is still on, and the 
second cutting when the land is still moist, say early in November 
and if the land is ploughed both times, very fair results can be had 
even without irrigation. 30,000lt)s. to 40,000]t)s. of green fodder 
will keep a yoke of oxen receiving GOffis. per diem for one year. 
Any of the juar that is allowed to run into grain will also afford 
about 10,OOOFbs. of dry straw per acre, half of which can be used as 
fuel and half as fodder, but this fodder is less valuable than green 
juar (dried). Juar straw is considerably better as a fodder than 
rice straw, and it should be given at the rate of half a maund per 
bullock of ordinary Bengal size, properly chopped up and mixed 
with oil-cake and water. If SOOltis. of grain and 10,000lt)s. of straw 
are obtained per acre of juar, an acre will support a man and a bul- 
lock, the man being allowed 40J1)s. of grain per month. 

Soil. Juar is grown both on rich and on poor soil, and though 
it does best on deeply cultivated rich loam (like the black cotton 
soil of Central and Southern India), it is a very hardy crop and it 
stands drought fairly well, though it is not a deep-rooted crop like 
maize. For very dry soils, juar is not a suitable crop, and for such 
Bajra and Kodo are more suitable. If rich land is chosen for this 
crop the yield of grain is proportionately very small, the straw 
showing a most luxuriant growth. Low-lying land is unsuitable 
lor juar as water-logging kills it. 

Cultivation. The same sort of cultivation as is recommended 
for maize should be adopted. The roots are easily spoilt by water- 
logging, hence ridging or earthing is advisable and water accumu- 
lating in the field should be let out. In dry climates this precau- 
tion is unnecessary but interculture here is essential. Ten pounds 
of seed should be used per acre, if it is grown for grain, but SOlfts. 
acre if it is grown for fodder, sowing being done 18" x 9" apart 
in the former case, and 9" x 6" in the latter. It is usually grown 
mixed with arahar, cotton, etc. But the best result is obtained by 
growing it singly. 

Diseases. The juar crop is very much subject to fungoid 
diseases specially if the heads appear in the rainy season. Rust, 
smut and bunt having been all noticed. Insects, birds and squirrels 
also do a great deal of damage. We have seen smut in a very exag- 
gerated form in the juar grown at the Sibpur Farm. The seed should 



198 HANDBOOK OP AGRICULTURE, 

always be sown pickled with sulphate of copper for preventing fun- 
goid diseases. Another means of avoiding smut and obtaining a 
better yield of grain is to do the sowing in July instead of in May 
or June, when the flowering takes place after the rains are over. 
Grown in a damp climate it is impossible to avoid diseases in juar 
grown for grain, and in such a climate juar for fodder alone should 
be grown. 

poUonous juar. It should be noted here, that stunted juar 
grown when there is deficiency of rainfall, is poisonous to cattle, 
and contains prussic acid. If irrigation is not available juar should 
not be sown till June, i.e., the commencement of the monsoon, 
that the ill-effects of early drought on this crop may be avoided. 
Sowing late in August should not be done either, that the ill-effects 
of late drought may be also avoided. Death among cattle from 
eating stunted and parched up sorghurn is fairly common in the 
Punjab. 

Extension of cultivation. It will not be easy introducing 
the cultivation of juar where people do not know this crop, but 
where juar is grown by a few cultivators, as in parts of Nadia and 
Murshidabad, the cultivation can be extended and the superior 
Matichur juar of the Central Provinces introduced. The introduc- 
tion of juar fodder is not attended with such difficulty, as cattle 
arc less conservative than men in their choice of food. 



CHAPTER XXXI. 

MARTA OK RA<JI (ELEUSIXE CORACAXA) AND OTHER 
LESSER MILLETS. 

[Value ot the Mn run crop; Yield; Cultivation: Chemical Composition J 
Beverage; Ami ; ( hrrnn : Slnunn ; Ctondli ; Laid ; Mrtijhn or 
Kdun or &/tt/af : 



Mama i* more commonly grown in Bengal than juar though its 
yield is rather poor, the average being about eight maunds per acre. 
In some parts of Madras it produces over 2,000ft>s. per acre in the 
red soils with irrigation. At the summit of each stem are our 
cruciform digitate spikes full of grain. This grain is supposed never 
to be attacked by insects and to keep for any length of time. There 
is some advantage therefore in growing this grain for storing it 
against years of famine whenever that may happen. 4,OOQR>s. of 
straw per acre is obtained in some irrigated soils in the Madras 
Presidency. 

Cultivation. Immediately after wheat or some other rabi 
crop is harvested, the land is prepared in the same manner as it is 
prepared for Aus paddy. The seed (7 to 10tt>s. per acre) is sown 
broadcast, and a log of wood or roller is passed over the land to 
cover the seed. When the plants are two or three inches high, 
harrowing is done, and vacant spbts are filled in by plants taken 



MARUA OR RAGL 



199 



out from those spots where they are too thick. In the Punjab, 
in Mysore and in parts of Bihar the seed is sown in seed-beds and 
afterwards transplanted. This is a better system. The harvesting 
is done in September, i.e., about three months after sowing . It is a 
difficult crop to harvest as the ears ripen very irregularly. The pro- 
portion between the quantity of seed sown and the outturn of grain 
is about 1 : 40. The straw is more nutritious than rice-straw, 
though it is said to decrease the flow of milk. The quantity of 
straw ordinarily obtained per acre in Bengal is less than LOOOtKs. 
The grain contains very little husk, only about 5 per cent. The 
chemical composition of the husked grain is given below : 



Water 

Albuminoids 

Starch 

Oil 

Fibre 

Ash 

Nutrient ratio 



Of 
/9 



73i> 

15 

23 

I'll 



The grain is somewhat indigestible and is eaten only by the 
poor classes. The hill tribes of Bengal make a fermented beverage 
out of this grain. 

The area under this millet in Britsh India is estimated at over 
three million acres, of which nearly a million acres are in Bengal 
and Bihar. The crop is grown in the districts of Bihar, (liliota 
Nagpur and in Darjiling. 

Other millets. With regard to the other less important 
cereals, a table may be given summarising the principal facts 
regarding their cultivation : 





Time 
of 
sowing. 


, 
Quantity Time of Outturn 
sown per ! harvest- of 
acre. ! ing. grain. 




1. Panicura mi- 
Haceura, c ora- 
inon millet or 
rhffnn. 


Feb. & 
March 
or Aug. 


10 Ibs. 


May 

or Oct. 


600 Ibs. 
of grain 
-f 1,000 
Ibs. of 
straw. 


Grc 
by 
D 

CO 

gr 
fo 
Pi 

h 
Pa 


2. Panicum fru- 
mentaceum or 
shyama. 


End of 
June. 


2 Ibs. 

i 


Oct. 


400 Ibs. 
of grain 
+ 800 Ibs. 
of straw. 


ou 
ci( 

Hoi 
is 
de 
gr 
in 
ne 
fo 



REMAKKS. 



Homettmeft 
by irrigation. 
Digestible and 
cooked like rice ; 
also for 
fodder only in the 
Punjab. Seed 
easily. 

Parantanna mad* 
of it IH deli- 



Hough jungle land 
is chosen. Consi- 
a poor 
No manur- 
ing or irrigation 
needed. Good 
fodder. 



200 



HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 





Time 


Quantity 


Time of 


Outturn 






of 


sown per 


harvest- 


of 


REMARKS. 




sowing. 


acre. 


ing. 


grain. 




3. Panic urn mi- 
Hare or gondli. 


June & 
July. 


10 Ibs. 


Oct. & 
Nov. 


500-i 1,000 
Ibs. 


Dry and sandy 
localities cbosen. 












A superior winter 












variety called 












Laio is harvested 












with winter rice. 


4. Panicum psi- 


End of 


2 Ibs. 


Oct. 


600 Ibs. 


Grain husked like 


lopodoura, 


June. 






(grain) 


paddy and eaten 


Menjhri or 










like boiled rice. 


Kutki. 












5. Panicum itali- 


June and 


5 Ibs. 


Oct. & 


500 Ibs. 


Dry, sandy soil. 


cum, Kaon and 


July. 




Nov. 


of grain 




Shyalnaja. 








-f 1,000 












Ibs. of 












straw. 




#. Penni s e t u m 


Middle to 


6 to 10 Ibs. 


Oct. & 


300 to 500 


Poor, free, dry, 


typhoideum or 
spiked millet 


end of 
July. 




Nov. 


Ibs. of 
grain 


sandy soil. Vil- 
lage refuse some- 


(bajra). 








+ 1,000 


times used as 










Ibs. of 


manure. No irri- 










straw. 


gation required : 












considered poor 












fodder. Pollen 












w ashed away 












if sowing is done 












early- 


7. P a p a 1 u m 


End of 


2 Ibs. 


Oct. 


600 Ibs. 


Jungle land and 


scrobicu 1 a t u m 


June. 








rough rocky soil 


or kodo. 










chosen. No manur- 












ing or irrigation 












done. Straw is 












poisonous, especi- 












ally for horses. 












Grain has intoxi- 












cating property. 



CHAPTER XXXII. 

BUCK-WHEAT (POLYGONUM FAGOPYRUM). 

THOUGH not a graminaceous crop, buck- wheat is classed among 
cereals, as bread is made out of the flour from this grain. Its straw 
is more nutritious than cereal straw. It is grown in the Darjiling 
hills, where it is called Phdpar, also in Bihar and in the Central Pro- 
vinces, where it is known as Rdjgir. * It is sown at the end of June 



PULSES. 201 

on roughly prepared land at the rate of SOlbs. per acre when broad- 
casted or 12 to 25tbs. when drilled. Harvesting is done in October. 
The seed sheds easily when it is ripe, and it is therefore necessary 
to get on with the harvesting operation early. Harvested early, 
the straw also is more nutritious. The green leaves are cooked and 
eaten as sag. l,200ft)s. of grain may be taken as the average pro- 
duce per acre on suitable soils. Clay soil is not suitable for this 
crop, and it is very curious, that it grows best on poor granitic soils 
and that it is scarcely ever manured. The grain of buck- wheat is 
very nourishing. A bushel of buck-wheat weighs about 50ft>s. and a 
bushel of oats about 40ft)s. One bushel of buck-wheat is considered 
equal to two of oats in feeding value. Stfes. of buck-wheat flour is 
equal to 12fbs. of barley meal. For feeding hens, buck- wheat is spe- 
cially appropriate, as it induces them to lay eggs earlier. Another 
advantage of growing buck- wheat consists in the fact of its getting 
ready in ten weeks after sowing, and it is therefore a splendid catch- 
crop. Its suitability for growing on poor soils is further enhanced 
by the fact of its being able to stand greater extremes of cold and 
heat than most crops. Hence it is suitable for growing both in the 
Darjiling hills and in the soils of Chhota Nagpur which are poor 
even in lime. It is killed by frost, but it can stand a tempera- 
ture of 105 to 110F. It should be introduced as a catch-crop 
for utilising rain out of season. 



CHAPTER XXXIII. 
PULSES-. 

[Acreage under gram and pul*e crops generally; export; the principal pulse- 
crops ; recuperative effect of growing pulse-crops ; leguminous weeds, indi- 
cative of rich soil; best weeds for pasture land; Arahnr^ Mat/ hi and 
Ckaiiali ; gram ; Kidtht or Madras gram ; Po/mt-he&n or Vnl ; Soy bean ; 
Khexari ; Muxur't ; JJ/iringi; Vrfl ; Mash Jtala'i ; MHMJ ; French beans ; 
country peas ; English peas ; Burbati and Ghanyra ; cluster-beans ; cost; 
mixtures ; best soils.] 

NEXT to cereals, pulses occupy the most important place as 
food-grains, though oil-seeds and jute occupy more land in Bengal. 
The only pulse-crop for which separate statistics are obtainable is 
the gram, under which there are more than eleven million acres in 
British India, including over one million acres in Bengal. The 
districts of Bengal specially suited for the gram crop are, Gaya, 
Monghyr, Bhagalpur, Patna, Murshidabad, Nadia, Shahabad, 
Darbhanga, Santhal Parganas, Hazaribagh and Palamau. The 
other pulses are included in Government returns under " other 
grains and pulse," of which there are nearly 30 million acres in 
India, including about 5 million acres in Bengal. It has been 
estimated that the total area under pulse-crops in India is about 
48,000,000 acres, i.e., about 15,000,000 acres more than the area 



202 



HANDBOOK OP AGRICULTURE. 



occupied by wheat. The export of gram, which is fairly constant, 
amounts to only about 315,000 cwt. valued at about 10 lakhs of 
rupees, and of other pulses put together about 632,000 cwt. valued 
at 18 lakhs of rupees. The principal pulses of India are, according 
to their relative importance : 

(1) Cajanus indicus, pigeon-pea, ddl, tuer or arahar. 

(2) Cicer arietinum, chicken-pea, gram, chhold or chend. 

'3) Dolichos biflorous, the horse-gram, kurthi-kalai or kulthi. 

(4) Pisum arvense, field-pea, desi matar. 

(5) Pisum sativum, European and American pea, bilati 

matar. 

(6) Dolichos lablab vulgare, Indian bean, Shim, popat, vol. 

(7) Glycine hispida, Soy-bean, bhdt or gari-kaldi. 

(8) Lathyrus sativus, khesari, tur or teicra. 

(9) Ervuin lens, the lentil, musuri. 

(10) Phaseolus aconitifolius, moth, mothi or bhringi. 

(11) Phaseolus Mungo, var. glabar, green gram, mung or mug. 

(12) Phaseolus Mungo, var. radiatus, mdsh-kaldi or urd, 

(13) Phaseolus vulgaris, Kidney-bean, French-bean or hari- 

cot. 

(14) Vigna catiang, Cow-gram, barbati and ghangra. 

(15) Cyamopsis psoralioides or cluster-beans, urharid shim, 

gamhar simmi ; or bilati sim. 

The general recuperative effect of pulse-crops on soils should 
be remembered. Lime and ashes are the best manure for pulse 
crops, and cowdung and other organic manures, the worst. The 
commonest leguminous weeds of Sibpur, which are also excellent 
fodder for milch cattle, are Pdyrd matar (Pisum quadratum), Chund 
kaldi or Ankrd (Vicia sativa) and Chund musuri or Ankri (Vicia- 
hirsuta). The following table summarises the principal facts 
regarding the cultivation of pulse-crops : 



Name 
of 
crop. 


Time 
of 
sowing. 


Quantity 
sown 
per acre. 


Time Quantity 
of ' harvested 
bar vesting, per acre. 


REMVRKS. 


1. (/) 


May, 


5 to 10 


(1) Jan. 


400 to 800 


Often sown mixed with a 


Arahar 


End of 


Ibs. 


(2) April. 


Ibs. (up 


millet, etc. Not suitable for 


Maghy 


June 






to 1,200 


sandy soil or land subject 


fe (*) 


(Central 






Ibs. in 


to inundation. Red clay- 


ChaiMi. 


Provin- 






up-coun- 


loam best. Stands drought 




ces), up 






try.) 


well. Chaitali arahar is 


* 


to July 








bolder and keeps better. 




(Madras). 








United Provinces and 












Bihar seeds give better re- 












sult in Lower Bengal than 












local seed. Best crop to 












grow from time to time for 












renovating soil. No irriga- 












tion necessary. 








4 


! 





PULSES. 



20& 



1 

Name 
of 
crop. 


Time 
of 
sowing. 


Quantity 
sown 

per acre. 




Time 
of 
larvesting. 


Quantity 
harvested 
per acre. 


REMARKS. 


2. Graiu. 


End of 
October. 


15 to 50 
Ibs. 


February 
to mid- 


200 to 400 
Ibs. (up 


Gram requires no irrigation 
either, but there should bo 






(Cabul 


dle of 


to 1,000 


sufficient moisture in the 






gram 


March. 


Ibs. in 


soil at sowing time and the 






?:>lbs.) 




up-coun- 


land should be kept proper- 










try), also 


ly open for reception of 










l.OOOlbs. 


nocturnal dews. If rains 










of straw 


cease early, sowing can be 










which is 
excellent 


clone in September, but this 
is risky in Lower Bengal. 










fodder. 


Cotton, wheat, linseed, 












barley or rape is often sown 












with gram. Does best on 












the clay-loam which is not 












too damp, Heavy rain or 












irrigation spoils this crop. 












Heads should be nipped off, 












or sheep let loose for a day 












or for a shorter time. Soils* 












containing a good deal of 












lime are specially adapted 
for gram. The Cabul gram 












grown at Sibpur Farm is* 












the best variety to grow in 












Bengal. 


3. Kulthi, 


October 


20 Ibs., if 


Febrn a - 


300 Ibs. of 


Stands drought well. IH 


Madras 


or Nov- 


for grain. 


ry, if for 


grain or 


the staple horse-gram of 


gram. 


ember, if 


25 Ibs., if 


grain ; if 


5 tons of 


South India. Considered 




for grain. 


for fod- 


for fod - 


green 


the best cleaning crop, like 




If for fod- 


der. 


der, (1) 


fodder, 


Ana paddy. No falling 




der, may 




August 


per crop. 


off of yield is noticed if 




be sown 




or Septr., 




three crops are taken in 




in dry re- 




(2) Octr. 




succession. Light dry soil 




gions in 




or Now. 




is preferred. The grain 




(1) June, 




and (3) 




being very hard should be 




(2) An*- 




January. 




given boiled to cattle and 




ust and 




If this 




broken and wetted with 




(3) Nov- 




3rd crop 




water to horses. 




ember, 




i 8 seed- 








three 




e d the 








times on 




grain i s 








the same 




harvest- 








field. 




e d in 












Febry. 






4. Popat 


July. 


5 to 8 Ibs. 


Jany. and 


250 Iba. to 


This is a large crop of the 


or Val. 


or later 




Febry. 


400 Ibs. 


Central Provinces and 












Western India. The pods 












resemble ftim but they are 












inferior to Bengal aim a 












a table-vegetable, though 












the seed inside the legumes 












is quite as good to taste as 












haricot-beans. 


5. S o y 


Begin- 


130 Ibs. 


End of 


400 to 


This contains 40% of albu- 


bean(#a- 


nirig of 




March. 


500 Ibs. 


minoids. Grows a b u n - 


ri-Mlai). 


Nove m - 








* dantly in the Manipur and 




ber. 








Naga hills. It is the richest 












pulse-crop of China and 












Japan. Experiments are 












being conducted ^with a 












view to introducing this 












pulse in several districts of 












India. 



204 



HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 



Name 


Time 


Quantity 


Time 


Quantity 




of 


of 


sown 


of 


harvested 


REMARKS. 


crop. 


sowing. 


per acre. 


harvesting. 


per acre. 





6. Khesari 


October. 


12 to 


March. 


300 Ibs. 


Usually sown when winter 






16 Ibs. 




+ 400 Ibs. 


paddy is growing. In the 










of straw. 


Rarh, gram, teoraor khe sa- 












ri, linseed, and sometimes 












mash-kalait are sown toge- 












ther broadcast in October, 












in wet rice land without 












any preparation. Khesari 












actually does better sown 












in this way. Gram and 












linseed fruit more profusely 












though the plants become 












shorter under this treat- 












ment. 


7. Afusuri 


October 
to Dec- 


12 Ibs. ... 


February 
& March. 


350 t o 
750 Ibs. 


Better land than khesari is 
chosen for this crop, and 




ember. 






and same 


more ploughing is necessary 










quantity 


for this than for kalai. 










of straw. 




8. Bhringi 


End of 
June. 


8 Ibs. ... 


End of 
Septr. 


2001b.& 
800 Ibs. 


Rough, sandy or gritty soil is 
usually chosen. Usually 










of straw. 


grown along with Juar as 












fodder crop, in some of the 












upper districts of Bengal. 












Harvested before Juar. 


9. Urd or 
JBirhi or 
Ktitkid- 


June ... 


8 Ibs. ... 


Septr. ... 


300 Ibs. & 
800 Ibs. 
of straw. 


Grown with Juar or Aus 
paddy, or separately. The 
cultivation of those pulses 


Kaldi. 










which grow in the rainy 












season should be extended. 












These should be sown in 












ridges and the ridging 












plough is therefore invalu- 












able if Kurthi, Bhringi, 












Popat, Arharia shim and 












Urd are grown. 


10. Mast- 
Kaldi. 


Septem- 
ber in 


8 Ibs. ... 


(l)Jany. 
(<2) Nov. 


300 Ibs. to 
600 Ibs. & 


Grown largely on Aus lands 
and dearh tracts. This is 




lower 






400 Ibs. to 


the staple kaltii of the cul- 




districts; 






800 Ibs. 


tivator. 




15th July 






of straw. 






to 15th 












Augu st 












in Son- 












thai Par- 












gan a s 












and 












other 












hilly and 












dry dis- 












tricts. 
















4 






i 











PULSES. 



205 



Name 
of 
crops. 


Time 
of 
sowing 


Quantity 
sown per 
acre. 


Time 
of 
tnrvesting. 


Outturn 
per 
acre. 


KEMARKS. 


11. Mug 


June (in 


5to81bs. 


Septr. or 


2001bs.to 


Red loamy soil or dry and 


or ung. 


high and 




Octr. (in 


500 Ibs. 


sandy soils are chosen for 




dry lo- 




high & 


and about 


this crop. In the United 




calities). 




dry loca- 


the same 


Provinces and the Central 




Octobe r 




I i t i e s 


quantity 


Provinces rating is sown 




(in lower 





February 


of straw. 


in dry and sandy soil at the 




districts). 




(in lower 




commencement of the rainy 








districts). 




season. This practice cait 












be adopted in high and dry 












and rocky soils of Son thai 












Parganas, Biibhum, Man 












bhura, etc., where mung can 












be sown with juar. The sow- 












ing should be done in ridges 












if done in June or July. 


12. 


Oct., 


20 Ibs. 


Decem- 


1,600 Ibs. 


This is a fairly profitable 


French- 


Novr. & 




ber to 


to 2000 


crop to grow near large 


beans. 


Deer. 




March. 


of green 


towns where there is a 










vege- 


European population. Clay 










tables. 


soil is better than sandy 












soil for beans. 


13. 


Begin- 


Ibs., if 


March 


250 Ibs. 


Country peas are grown on 


Country 
peas. 


ning of 
Novr. 


r or grain ; 
20 Ibs., if 
for 


& 
April. 


or 
3,000 Ibs. 
of green 


dearh land after the water 
goes down, and in low-lying 
clay rice-fields, after the 






fodder. 




fodder. 


rice harvest. 


14. 


Novr. & 


15 Ibs. 


Decem- 


1,200 Ibs. 


European or American peas 


English 
peas. 


Deer. 




ber to 
March. 


to 
2,000 Ibs. 


are best to grow near large 
towns as table-vegetables. 


r 








of green 


Rich clay soil is better 










vege- 


than sandy soil for English 










tables. 


or American peas. 


15. 


April & 


12 Ibs. 


August 


50 mds. 


Only about 20 or 30 Rupees 


Vigna 


May, or 




or 


legumes 


per acre can be expected by 


catiang 


Octr. & 




March. 


(barbali] 


growing beans or peas, 


tender 


Novr. 






or 


even as English vegetables, 


legumed 








10 mds. 


of which Rs. 15 will go out 


-barbati 








of dcU of 


in expense. French-beans 


or harsh 








ghangra. 


are more profitable than 


legumed 
ghanffYQ. 










peas. Imported seed is 
better than even " Olonda" 












or "Patani" or " Kabli " 












peas seed. European peas 












and beans are benefited by 












light irrigation. Ashes and 












phosphatic manures are 












the best manures to use. 












Beans are benefited by 












organic manures (cowdung, 












etc.) when used sparingly 












on land which is rough and 












open. 


16. 
Cluster- 
beans, or 
Cyamop- 
sis psora- 
lioidtis 


April & 
May, or 
Septr. & 
October. 


10 Ibs. 


August 
or 
February. 


100 to 
200 mds. 
of green 
fodder 
or 
40 to 50 


Grows in parts of Orte&a, 
Chhota Nag pur, Sonthal 
Parganas, Bihar and 
Gujarat. It is worth culti- 
vating largely, as it is a 
fertilizer of soils, it yields a 


OamhdT 








mds. 


nourishing little legume 


or Gavar, 
Bilati 








of green 
legumes. 


which is relished by man. 
and a fodder highly useful 


sim, or 










for cattle. 


Arharia 












tim. 













206 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

The expense of growing leguminous crops generally is very 
little, Rs. 5 per acre for the country pulses and Rs. 15 to Rs. 20 
for European peas and beans. 

Green fodder. Kalai, country peas, arharia sim, bhringi, 
and khesari plants are sometimes grown only as green fodder for 
cattle. Sometimes two or more of the following crops, viz., rape, 
musuri, country peas, khesari, wheat, barley, gram and linseed 
are sown mixed together. Rape ripens first, then ordinary mustard, 
then musuri, then linseed, then matar, then khesari, wheat, barley, 
and gram. Barbati is of two varieties. The one with soft skinned 
pods and short bushy creepers is eaten as a table- vegetable in the 
green state ; the other with harsh skin and larger plants is grown 
for ddl. It is a highly fertilising crop, and is largely grown as a 
preparatory crop for sugarcane. 

In the United Provinces and in Bihar where land is lighter and 
generally richer in lime than in Lower Bengal, pulse-crops give 
a heavier yield. In the deltaic portion of Bengal pulse-crops do 
not grow well, an excess of ordinary salt in the soil being very 
injurious to these crops. Well-drained land annually renovated 
with silt produces the best pulse-crops in Lower Bengal. 



CHAPTER XXXIV. 
OIL-SEEDS. 

[The principal oil-seed crops; the minor oil-seeds; acreage; export trade in oil- 
seeds and oils ; the former trade to be deprecated. Sunflower, cashew nut, 
Pittaraj, Nim. Drying and non-drying oils.] 

The principal oil-seed crops of India are, Brassica (rape, colza and 
mustard), Linum usitatissimum (linseed), Sesamum indicum (til or 
yinyelly), Eruca sativa, tdrdmani, Carthamus tinctorius (safflower), 
Guizotia abyssinica (niger), Ricinus communis (castor), Papaver 
somniferum (poppy), Arachis hypogcea (groundnut), and Gossypium 
{cotton). 

Minor oil-seeds. Besides, the oil-seeds which are in common 
use, for which separate chapters are provided in this book, there 
are some minor oil-seeds, which are used in some parts of the coun- 
try for extraction of oil. These are Helianthus annum or sunflower, 
Anacardium occidentale or cashew-nut (Hijli-badam), Semicarpus 
anacardium or marking-nut, Amoora rohituka (Rayna or Pittaraj), 
Melia Azadirachta or margosa (Nim), Galedupa indica or Pongamia 
(jlabra (Kenja or Karanja) Argemone mexicana (Sialkanta) Calophy- 
llum inophyllum (Punang), Schleichera trijuga (Kusum), and Bu- 
chanania lati folia (Chironji, the seed of Piyal tree). The oil of 
Cocos nucifera (cocoanut) and of Bassia latifolia (Mahua) are in 
more common use and separate chapters will be provided for these. 

Acreage. The recognized oil-seed crops of British India 
occupy an area of about 14 million acres, of which the Province 



OIL-SEEDS. 



207 



of Bengal furnishes nearly 4 million acres. Next to cereals, oil- 
seed crops occupy the largest area in Bengal. According to the 
extent of cultivation of these crops the different districts of the 
three provinces of North-East India come in the following order : 



1st, My men singh 
2nd, Son thai Parganas 
3rd, Darbhanga 
4th, Gay a 
5th, Rungpur 
6th, Purnea 
7th, Pubna 
8th, Dacca 
9th, Nadia 
10th, Dinajpur 
llth, Sylhet 
12th, Uazaribagh 
13th, Jessore 



462,300 acres. 

230,300 

229,400 

210,500 

17*?,700 

173900 

148,200 

146,300 

140,500 

130,200 

110,600 

108,520 

103,500 



Trade. The enormous export trade in oil-seeds is a great loss 
to the country, and it is highly advisable to organise a system of 
pressing the oil in this country, exporting only the oil and retaining 
the cake for use as animal food or manure in the country. The 
export of oils from India is a little over eight million gallons per an- 
num, valued at about one crore of rupees. Of this quantity three- 
fourths consist of castor-oil, which is highly valued for lubricating, 
soap-making and other purposes in Europe. One-and-a-half 
million gallons of cocoanut oil valued at 16 lakhs of rupees, is the 
oil of next importance which is exported. Against this, there 
is a rapidly increasing export of oil-seeds, valued at over 12 crores 
of rupees from India. The question of the fertility of Indian soils 
is intimately blended with that of the export of oil-seeds and bones. 
To England goes most of the linseed. America also buys a good 
deal. The other oil-seeds go chiefly to the Continent of Europe. 

Helianthus annuus (sunflower), Sunflower oil is used in Europe 
as a substitute for olive and almond oil for culinary and table 
uses and it is largely used in Russia. For candle and soap- 
making it is superior to most oils. Sunflower seed and oil-cake 
are a valuable food for cattle. Poultry, pigeons and rabbits are 
specially fond of the seed. Experiments conducted in India have 
shown that it is a costly crop to grow. The leaves and stalks are 
eaten by cattle and they make a fairly good manure. The stalks 
may be also used as fuel and the ashes employed as a potash ma- 
nure. As a garden plant only, yielding seeds which are useful 
for feeding home poultry, its propagation can be encouraged but 
not as a regular oil-seed crop. 

Anacardium occidental (cashew nut or hijli badam). Originally a native 
of South America, this tree has established itself in the coast forests 
of India, in the Contai sub-division of Midnapore, in Orissa^jJ 
Cbittagong and in Madras. A weak solution of the gum of also 
plant which is very slightly soluble in water may be 



208 HANDBOOK OP AGRICULTURE. 

preventive against the attack of insects. To this may be added a 
little asafcetida and a little aloe to make it more effective. The 
juice issuing from the bark is used as an indelible marking ink 
like bhela-nut juice. The bark is used for tanning. The ripe fruit 
is eaten. The pericarp of the seed which is partly outside the fruit, 
contains an acrid oil, black in colour, which is a good preventive 
against white ants and which is used for tanning or colouring boats 
and fishing lines and fishing nets, like the mesocarp of the gab 
fruit. The kernels of the seed are delicious eating, and about 40 
per cent, of an oil which is equal to almond oil and superior to olive 
oil is obtained from the kernels. 

Amoora rohituka (Pittaraj or rayna). The oil from the seed of this 
tree is used in some parts of Northern and Eastern Bengal as a lamp 
oil. The seeds are fried and bruised, then boiled with water, 
when the oil floats on the top. The timber is good but little 
used. 

Melia azidrachta. Nim seed being very common, the value of 
nim oil as an antiseptic and anthelmintic veterinary medicine, and 
of nim oil-cake as a fertiliser containing 5 to 5| per cent, of 
nitrogen and about 1| per cent, of phosphoric acid should be here 
mentioned. The oil can be painted on young cocoanut and other 
trees to protect them against insect pests. In districts where nim 
trees are plentiful the crushing of the nim seed for oil and oil-cake 
may be taken up as a secondary mill industry in connection with 
a cotton-ginning and cotton-seed-crushing establishments, for 
instance. Dried nim leaves are often used for storing grains safe 
from weevils. 

The kenja oil and sidlkdntd oil, as lamp-oils, need be only men- 
tioned here as being actually in use. In Orissa the cultivator who 
possesses twenty Galedupa (Kenja) trees, considers himself quite 
independent in the matter of lamp-oil. Sidlkdntd oil is used chiefly 
among the Sonthals of Rajmehal. Punang seed which is globular 
and large (about an inch in diameter) contains a large proportion 
of oil which is used by Uriyas and also in Western India, for 
burning. The seeds of Schleichera trijuga or kusum contains a 
valuable oil which is used for making Macassar oils and for soap- 
making. Chironji seed which is full of a rich oil is used for making 
sweetmeats but not for extraction of oil. 

Drying and non-Drying Oils. The principal drying oils are obtained 
from the following plants : 

Juglans regia (walnut, dkrot) which yields ... 50 % of oil. 
Carthamus tinctorius (sattiower, kusum) which 

yields about ... ... ... 25 

Guizotia abyssinica (niger seed, sorgvja) ... 23 to 27 % 

Linum usitatissimum (linseed, masind) ... 28 ,, 

Papaver aoraniferum (poppy, postddand) ... 33 to 47 

Amoora rohituka (pittaraj ). 
occu| r gemone mexicana (Mexican prickly poppy, Shidlkdntd). 



MUSTARD AND RAPE* 



209 



The principal non-drying oils are obtained from the following 
plants : 



Brassica juncea (rdi) 
Brassica napus (lutni) . . 
Brassica campestris (var. sarson) 
Brassica campestris (var. ioria) 
Ricinus communis 
Cocos riucifera (cocoanut) 
Sesamum indicum (til) . . 
Eruca sativa (tdrdmani) 
Bassia latifolia (mahua) 
Helianthus annus 



21 to 28 % of oil. 

32 to 40 

33 
33 

47 

52 to 57 
45 % 
12 to 25 
27 to 37 
27 



The commonest drying oil used for paints and varnishes is 
linseed-oil. Boiled linseed oil dries up quicker and helps the paint 
to stick faster to the substance painted, hence about one-fourth 
of the boiled oil is added to three-fourths of the unboiled oil when it 
is used for paint and varnish. 



CHAPTER XXXV. 
MUSTARD AND RAPE. 

[Botanical classification ; mustard, colza, rape, uUi sarson, four-rowed sarson, 
Kalimpong mustard, China cabbage, the black and white mustards of 
Europe : Distinguishing features of mustard or Rai 9 Tori or rape and 
Sarson or colza ; Chittagong mustard, Nepalese mustard ; Eruea sativa ; 
cultivation ; acreage.] 

Botanical classification The Bengal mustards have been studied 
closely by Dr. Prain, and according to him there are three distinct 
types of mustard, which may be distinguished thus : 

IST. Indian Mustard or Rai, the Sinapis ramosa of Roxburgh 
and Brassica juncea of Hooker and Thomson. 

2ND. Indian Colza or Sarson, the swet-rdi of Central Bengal, 
very tall, grown all over Bengal except Chittagong, plants resem- 
bling turnip or swede, the Sinapis glauca of Roxburgh, and Brassica 
campestris, sub-species genuina, variety glauca of Hooker and 
Thomson. 

SRD. Indian Rape or Tori, the Sorshe of Central Bengal, 
the Sinapis dichotoma of Roxburgh, and Brassica campestris, sub- 
species napus, variety dichotoma of Hooker and Thomson. 

Besides these staple varieties, there are some others also culti- 
vated in some parts of Bengal, e.g., (1) Brassica trilocularis (UUi 
Sarson), which is unlike ordinary Sarson only in having pendent 
pods ; (2) Brassica quadrivalvis which is a variety of Sarson which 
has four rows of seed instead of two ; (3) Brassica rugosa, Prain, 
or the Kalimpong rdi ; (4) Brassica rugosa, var. Cuneifolia, Prain, 
grown by Cacharis and Rajbansis throughout Upper Bengal and 
Assam ; (5) Brassica Chinensis or China Cabbage may be also 
regarded as a mustard. Indeed Turnip, Cabbage and Cauliflower 

M, HA 14 



210 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

are botanically closely allied to mustard, all of which are included 
under the genus Brassica of Linnaeus. 

The black and white mustards (Brassica nigra and alba) of 
Europe are not grown in Bengal. It is from these that the mustard 
of European condiment and hospital poultices are obtained. The 
oil of these mustards, though very useful medicinally as a very 
strong antiseptic, is not so suitable for food as the oil of Indian 
mustards, though the meal of European mustards is a better con- 
diment. 

Ral. First, Rai, Lahi, Li, or Raichi-rai is grown in all the 
Divisions of Bengal and Bihar, except Chhota Nagpur, where it is 
practically unknown, except in Singhbhum. It is easily recognized 
by having none of its leaves stem-clasping, and after reaping, its 
seeds, which are brown, can be readily distinguished from those of 
Tori or Indian rape, by their small size, and their being distinctly 
reddish brown all over. From Sarson which has white seeds, or, 
as occasionally happens, brown seeds, it is easily distinguished. 
Sarson seeds are always considerably, often very much larger, and 
even when brown, have the seed-coat smooth. There are three 
sub-races of Rdi, a tall late kind and two shorter earlier kinds, one 
of these latter roughing with bristly hairs, the other smooth with 
darker coloured stems. The taller sub-race is quite absent from 
Chhota Nagpur and from Tippera and Chittagong. The shorter 
sub-races are quite absent from Orissa and are absent from North 
Bengal and Bihar. Rdi or Rdi-shorshe is called chhota-sarisha 
in Orissa, because the seeds are small. 

Tori Second, Tori, Lutni (Chhota Nagpur) and Sarisha 
or shorshe (Indian rape) is next in importance of Rdi, and it is 
grown in every district in Bengal and Bihar except perhaps Saran 
and Shahabad. It is easily distinguished from Rdi by its stem- 
clasping leaves and its small size. When reaped the seed is recog- 
nised as being larger, though of the same colour, and by having a 
paler spot at the base of the seed ; the seed-coat too is only slightly 
rough. From sarson or Indian Colza it is easily distinguished by 
its smaller size and by its leaves, though stem-clasping, as in Sar- 
son, being less lobed and having much less bloom. The seeds of 
Tori and ordinary Sarson are much of the same size, but as a rule 
the seed of Sarson in Bengal is white. When Sarson seeds are brown 
they are of an amber colour and they have no paler spot. The 
seed-coat is smooth. The seeds of Sarson are sometimes consider- 
ably larger than those of Tori. When this is the case the two are 
easily distinguished. There are two kinds of Tori, a taller, rather 
later, and a shorter, and very early kind which is the commoner 
variety. Both kinds, however, ripen well ahead of any Rdi or any 
Sarson. The earlier kind of Tori probably does not occur in North- 
West Bihar and the later kind is unknown in Eastern Bengal and 
Chittagong ; with these exceptions both sorts prevail throughout 
Bengal and Bihar. 



MUSTARD AND RAPE. 211 

Sarson, Third, Sarson or Indian Colza, the skwiti shorshe 
or simply shweti of Bengal, and (Ganga-toria) of Orissa, occur in 
-every district of Bengal and Bihar except Chittagong, where it is 
replaced by a different mustard. It is easily distinguished from 
Rdi by its stem-clasping leaves, and from Tori by the greater 
-amount of bloom on its foliage, by its taller stature, its more rigid 
habit and its thicker and plumper pods. When reaped the seeds are 
distinguished by their usually white colour ; when brown the seeds 
are distinguished readily from those of Rdi by the larger size, and 
the smooth seed-coat, and from those of Tori by their being of a 
lighter brown, and by not having a paler spot at the base of the seed. 
There are two races of Sarson, one with erect pods, the Natwa Sar- 
son or Sarson proper and one with pendent pods or Tero Sarson. 
Each race has two distinct sub-races, one with 2-valved and the 
other with 3 to 4-valved podvS. The forms with hanging pods are 
not common except in Northern Bengal and Eastern Tirhut (Pur- 
nea), the sub-race with 2-valved pods being almost confined to 
this area. But the 4-valved kind extends sparingly throughout 
Western Tirhut and crossing the Ganges spreads southwards through 
South-West Bihar and Western Chhota Nagpur. The forms with 
erect pods occur all over Bengal ; the 2-valved sub-race, however, 
is not much grown in Bihar. The 4-valved sub-race occupies West 
Tirhut and West Bihar and extends in a south-west direction to 
Midnapore. It is also grown in Northern and North-Eastern 
Bengal. Roughly speaking, the 2-valved erect Sarson is grown 
chiefly in Chhota Nagpur, Orissa, and in West Central and East 
Bengal ; the 4-valved erect Sarson is grown chiefly in West 
Bihar ar/d North Bengal ; and the pendent Sarson occurs in the 
area to the north of the Ganges beyond the region occupied by 
the 4-valved Sarson. 

Fourth, the Chittagong mustard, which is closely allied to 
European colza. 

Fifth, the Nepalese mustard, which is the same as the Cab- 
bage-mustard of the Chinese cultivator. 

Sixth, the China cabbage, which is quite distinct from the last, 
has been only lately introduced into Bengal jails. 

Seventh, Eruca sativa or Taramani (Tiramira) is commonly 
confounded with mustard. It also belongs to the natural order, 
Cruciferse and tribe Brassiceae. The seeds are compressed and light 
reddish brown in colour. 

Cultivation. Tori or Sorshe and Sarson or Swet sorshe are 
usually sown with wheat or barley, or in gardens with carrots and 
Ramdana (Amaranthus paniculatus), while R&i is usually grown 
by itself, as it is a tall crop, which has the tendency to smother 
other crops grown with it. Mustards are sown in September, i.e., 
six weeks to two months before the regular rabi sowings. The sow- 
ing of rdi is done earlier, and it is harvested in February or March, 
while sarson and tori are sown and harvested later. There are, 



212 HANDBOOK OP AGRICULTURE. 

however, early and late varieties of all the three crops. It should be,, 
however, borne in mind that all sorts of mustard crops are very 
much subject to the attack of aphides, and a crop which is late is 
always badly infected if there is an earlier crop in the neighbour- 
hood. Mustard should therefore be all sown at the same time and 
not in different lots, and very early in the season. When tori or 
sarson is sown with wheat or barley at the rate of l|ft>s. per acre, 
the produce is only 1| to 2 maunds per acre. Sown by itself, at 
the rate of 4 to Gtbs. per acre, the produce is 4 to 6 maunds. Rai 
is usually sown at 3fts. per acre and peas are sown afterwards on 
the same land. Grown in this way the outturn per acre of rdi is 
3 to 4 maunds. Grown by itself, without peas, scarcely any higher 
yield is obtained. Rdi with peas sown in the same field after- 
wards is therefore a splendid mixture, specially as the pea using the 
tall steam of rdi as support, bear more pods and give a better yield 
than when it is sown by itself. Rai seed yields less oil than sorshe- 
and shweti-sorshe seeds. In the former case the yield is ten seers 
per maund and in the latter 13 to 14 seers. All the three varieties 
of mustard are sometimes grown as a green manure and sometimes 
for green fodder only, the plants being cut and given to cattle in 
January and February, i.e., when they are just in flower. Some- 
times a crop of mustard is ploughed in as manure, but this form 
of green manuring has not the special merit as the ploughing in 
of dhaincha, sunn-hemp, indigo, or barbati. 

Acreage. Rape and mustard occupy about 3| million acres 
of land in British India, Bengal including Assam accounting for 
two million acres. In Bengal it is the most important oil-seed 
crop, though in the rest of the country til occupies the first place. 



CHAPTER XXXVI. 

LINSEED (LINUM USITATISSIMUM). 

[Flax for fibre and seed ; Acreage ; Cultivation ; Linseed-cake.] 

History. This plant has been discovered in the wild state 
in the region between the Black and Caspian Seas and the Persian 
Gulf, the original home of the Aryan racel It is one of the most 
ancient fibre plants of India being mentioned in Panini thus : 
" Atasi syat-uma-kshuma" Whether the " Kshouma-bashan of 
the Vedas is silk cloth or linen cloth, is doubtful. Probably the 
wprd Tcshuma was applied first to silk and afterwards to linen, as 
" Jcshaume bashane bashanam agnimadihyatam " has always been 
understood in practice with reference to silken wedding robes. 
What is most ancient survives in the most ancient religious customs. 
Besides it is not at all certain that linen cloth was ever made in 
India. . Flax is grown not for its fibre but for its seed in India, 
and though the knowledge that linen fibre was obtained from the 
flax plant existed in ancient India, the use of silken cloth has been 



LINSEED. 213 

prescribed for religious observances among all classes of Hindus. 
'The growing of flax for fibre instead of seed (fibre and seed cannot 
be both grown to perfection from the same plants) with imported 
seed and by sowing the seed thick, has been tried with success in 
Tirhut and elsewhere, and reports of these will be found in the 
Bulletins of the Pusa Institute. The growing of white linseed, 
the oil of which is more valuable than that of the ordinary brown 
linseed, is another improvement which should not be lost sight of. 
White linseed grew quite as well as brown linseed at the Sibpur 
Farm. ' 

Acreage. The total area under linseed in British India is 
qyer 3 million acres, of which the area in Bengal and Bihar is esti- 
mated at 924,000 acres only, or 1-25 per cent, of the total cultivated 
area of the province. Darbhanga, Saran, Gaya. Nadia, and Champa- 
ran are the most important linseed-growing districts, in Bengal. 
Expansion of cultivation has been chiefly in the districts of Nadia, 
Gaya and Darbhanga, while in Patna and Mymensingh there has 
been great contraction of area under linseed of late years. 

Soil Linseed grows well on heavy land, and it is not so suit- 
able for light and sandy soils, which are particularly well adapted 
for mustard and til crops. In fact, linseed can be grown on Aman 
land which is unsuitable for til and mustard crops. In rocky sub- 
Himalayan tracts, however, linseed does very well. Wheat, gram 
and linseed require the same kind of land. Gram and linseed are 
lusually grown together, gram doing well also on heavy loam, if it 
is fairly rich in lime. The sowing of linseed should be done early 
and preparations may commence in September, when the rains are 
still on, actual sowing being done immediately after or even before 
the monsoon is over, at the rate of four to six seers per acre. Sow- 
ing is sometimes done when the Aman rice is still standing. Water- 
logging does not do this crop so much harm in rocky and laterite 
soils. Thorough and deep cultivation is as beneficial to this crop 
as to wheat, but seed may be scattered in between the lines of paddy 
and simply ploughed in. Sown later, linseed needs irrigation, but 
when the crop is in flower or nearly mature, rainfall does harm. 

The plants are cut down when ripe, at the end of February or 
beginning of March, and the seed extracted by flailing. Six to 
eight maunds of seeds being the average produce per acre. The 
straw is useless as fodder, and it is said that green plants of linseed 
eaten by cattle prove fatal to them. 

The seed yields about one-quarter its weight of oil. Linseed- 
cake is a more valuable cattle food and a more valuable manure, 
especially for milch cows, than rdi or tori cakes, though the butter 
produced from milk given by cows eating linseed-cake is softer 
than that from cows eating mustard or cotton-seed cake. Linseed- 
cake is more potent in fattening cattle than any other food. 



214 HANDBOOK OF AGKICULTURE. 

CHAPTER XXXVII. 

GlNGELLY OE TlL (SESAMUM INDICUM). 

LIKE white linseed, white til yields a more valuable oil than the 
black variety. White til is often grown along with cotton as a 
rdbi crop, while black til is grown along with a tall crop, such as 
juar, as a kharif crop. The high and light alluvial (Dearh) lands 
and rocky soils are suitable for the til crop. Indeed, all oil-seed 
crops prefer soils rich in mineral matters, til doing better on lighter 
classes of soils, either rocky or riparian. Til occupies the largest 
area among oil-seed crops in British India, though in Bengal it 
is a crop of secondary importance. The total area under this 
crop in Bengal, and Bihar including Assam, has been estimated 
at 430,000 acres, while the area under this crop in all India is 
over 4J million acres. 

Til may be grown on poor soils provided they are not too low 
or heavy. It does not require such deep preparation of land as 
linseed does. Eight to ten seers of seed are used per acre when it is 
grown by itself. Both the varieties of til are grown in some districts, 
the coarser variety called Bhadoi til or Jcat-til is sown in January 
and reaped in June or July, about 6 maunds being obtained per acre.. 
The sowing of this variety of til is done in Birbhum on low Aman 
land after a maghi shower of rain. The seed needs husking and the 
oil extracted rather thin and poor. The rabi til is sown in August 
and reaped in November or December, 4 to 6 maunds being obtained 
per acre. Til is sown in October also like ordinary rabi crops as in 
Orissa and Chhota Nagpur. On dearh lands of E. Bengal, sowing 
is done in January and February. The stocks of harvested til 
.stalks should be left to dry in a standing position, the seed being 
afterwards detached by flailing. 

If scented flowers are kept in between layers of til, the til being 
sifted out next day, and this operation being repeated for a fort- 
night and the scented til afterwards pressed, phulel oil is produced 
which fetches over Rs. 150 per maund, but the demand for this 
article is limited. The oil-cake is used not only as animal but 
also as human food mixed with gur or sugar. The yield of oil 
from til seed is about 45 per cent. About 25 per cent, of phulel 
oil is obtained from til seed treated with flower. 



CHAPTER XXXVIII. 

SORGUJA OR NIGER OIL SEED (GUIZOTIA ABYSSINICA). 

THIS crop usually follows Aus paddy, and is sown in August, 
either by itself or with some pulse-crop (kulthi, etc.). Rough and 
rocky laterite soil or light sandy soil is chosen for this crop. The 
preparation of land is of the simplest character. Two ploughings 
followed by a laddering are all that is done before sowing. About 



CASTOR. 215 

half a maund of seed is sown per acre. The crop is harvested in 
November or December, the produce coming to only about 4 
maunds valued at Rs. 5 or Rs. 5-8 per maund. A considerable 
proportion of land is under this crop in Chhota Nagpur. 

The yield of oil is about 35 per cent, of the weight of the seed. 
The oil-cake is highly appreciated for milch-cows in the Deccan. 
Mr. Mollison speaks highly of this oil-cake as a manure for the 
sugarcane crop. Mustard and castor oils are adulterated with 
sorguja oil. The relative value of rape seed and sorguja seed in the 
English market is 48s. : 37s. per quarter. While rape seed yields 
20 gallons of oil per quarter in England, sorguja seed which dries 
up quicker, yields only 16 gallons per quarter, but a mixture of 
sorguja with rape actually increases the yield of oil of the latter 
seed. Hence the universal use of sorguja seed for mixing with 
mustard seed before pressing oil out of the latter seed. 

For lubricating and for lighting, this oil is useful, and it is used 
in some parts of India for cooking and for anointing the body. 



CHAPTER XXXIX. , 

CASTOR (Ricmus COMMUNIS). 

[Use for extraction of oil ; use for silk rearing ; uses of oil ; cold -drawing 
desirable ; cake as a manure, as a substance for extraction of gas ; yield, 
cultivation ; varieties ; different processes of extraction of oil.] 

THE value of this crop is of a two-fold nature : (1) the Eri 
.silkworms are reared on its leaf, and (2) the oil extracted from 
castor-seed is highly valued for lubricating machinery, for dressing 
tanned hides and skin, for lighting, for soap and candle-making 
and other arts, and lastly, as a medicine. The large seeded varieties 
are appreciated for extracting lubricating and lighting oils, while 
the small seeded varieties, for extracting a fine quality of oil used 
for medicine. The slowness with which castor-oil burns, effects 
a saving of consumption ranging from a quarter to one half in 
comparison with other lighting oils, such as kerosine, mustard oil, 
linseed oil, etc. Being comparatively freer from danger and giving 
little soot, it is used in railways all over India. The qualities 
of castor-oil for keeping the head cool and the pores of the skin 
and roots of the hair soft and open, are availed of in the manufac- 
ture of golden-oil, pomatum and perfumed oils of various kinds. 
Cold-drawn castor-oil gives more brilliant light than castor-oil 
from boiled or roasted seed. The oil, therefore, extracted from 
unheated shelled seeds is more valuable. The manufacturing of 
cold-drawn castor-oil in India offers a great opening for capitalists. 
Castor-oil agitated with nitric acid is used for lubricating wheels of 
railway carriages. Castor-cake is one of the best vegetable manures 
in use. This cake is also used for extracting gas which is actually 
in use in the Allahabad Railway station for lighting purposes. 



216 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTUBE. 

Several of the Indian railways have their own castor-oil mills and 
they use the oil and cake both for lighting. Castor-oil is also in 
use for extraction of gas for lighting the streets of Jeypore. As a 
manure, castor-cake and bone-meal together have been found better 
for sugarcane than the cake alone, while for rice and potatoes castor- 
cake alone has given the best results in India. Castor-cake is con- 
sidered injurious to the pan plant, the manure used in pan barojes 
being mustard-cake. It is a common mistake to suppose that 
castor-cake is richer in phosphates than linseed or rape-seed cakes. 
Poppy-seed cake is the richest in phosphates and castor-cake is not 
any richer than rape or linseed-cake in this respect. 
1 It is very curious that while castor-oil plant leaves eaten by 
milch cows to help increase the flow of milk, a pulp made out of 
castor leaves is used externally by women to stop the flow of milk 
from their breasts. Sometimes whole leaves are applied to the 
breasts for this purpose. The dried stalks are used for thatch and 
as wattle and also as fuel. The stalks are not attacked by white- 
ants. 

The yield of oil is about 25% to 36% of the weight of seed, and 
of cake from 36% to 44%, the rest being husk, etc., which lias to 
be got rid of before the oil is extracted. 

The cultivation of castor-oil plant, so far as Bengal and Bihar 
are concerned, is done chiefly in the Patna and Bhagalpur Divi- 
sions, where it is usally grown along with potatoes. In other parts 
of Bengal also it is grown more or less abundantly with cotton, or 
juar, or arahar. A small sized, a middle sized and a large sized 
variety, are recognised. The first and the last are sown from May 
to July and grown with some bhadoi crop. The seeds ripen in Jan- 
uary and February. The winter variety is sown in September and 
the seeds are gathered in March or April. This variety yields a 
larger proportion of oil than the bhadoi varieties. On dearh land 
the cost of cultivation is little and the yield is large. Like other 
oil-seed crops, the castor-crop is benefited by mineral manures, 
and the annual renovation of soil by silt is an appropriate substi- 
tute for manure. Red soils situated at the foot of hills are also 
specially chosen for growing castor-oil plants. Such soils if very 
poor in organic matter, get an application of 20 to 30 cart-loads 
of dung (7 or 8 tons) per acre, or flocks of sheep are hurdled on them. 
Two or three ploughing^ are then given at the commencement of 
the rainy season and the seed sown by dibbling six feet apart, 
about 6tfcs. of seed being used per acre for the larger variety. In 
each hole 2 seeds are put and if the soil is too dry at the time, 
water is put in each hole before it is covered up. The smaller 
variety is planted 18 in. by 36 in. apart, 4fts. of seed being used. 
Castor is an exhausting crop, and it should not be grown on the same 
land oftener than once in five or six years. It is never irrigated, 
which is a great advantage, all the operation necessary after 
sowing being ploughing the land a month after sowing in between 
the rows of seedlings, to keep it free from weeds. 



CASTOR. 



217 



Castor plantations being very much subject to the attack of 
caterpillars, preparation of land in the cold weather is necessary, 
that grubs may be exposed to the attack of birds and ants, also 
stirring of the soil once a month until sowing time. The seed should 
also be pickled with an insecticidal mixture before sowing. 

The picking of capsules continues from the seventh to the ninth 
month after sowing, after which the remaining leaves are given to 
cattle and the stems cut and used for fuel, or for making charcoal 
which is used in the preparation of fireworks. The seed-pods are 
stacked in a corner of a house, covered with straw and weighted. 
After a week the capsules are found soft and rotten. They are then 
exposed to the sun for two days, dried and beaten with heavy 
mallets 2ft. long by l|ft. broad, which process extracts about half 
the seed. The remaining capsules are again dried and beaten, 
until all the seeds have been extracted. 

A small seeded Deccan variety goes on bearing for five years 
in succession. The quality of oil of this variety is also superior. 

When castor is grown with other crops, the yield of cleaned seed 
per acre is about 250ft)s., while grown by itself, the yield comes 
to 500 to 9()0flbs. per acre. The cost of cultivation being very 
little (about Ks. 10 per acre), it is a profitable crop to grow. 

There are four processes of extraction of oil which can be 
followed without much difficulty : 

(1) The shelled seed may be crushed in a screw-press with hori- 
zontal rollers and the resulting pulp put into ghanies and pressed. 
This cold-drawn castor oil can be obtained at as high a proportion 
as 36 per cent, of the shelled seed. 37 per cent, of cake and 27 
per cent, of husk being also obtained. 

(2) The seed may be roasted in a pot, pounded in a mortar 
and placed in four tinies its volume of water, which is kept boiling. 
The mixture is constantly stirred with a wooden spoon. After 
a time the pot is removed from the fire and the oil skimmed off. 
The residue is then allowed to cool, and next day it is again boiled 
and skimmed. The second day's skimming gives better oil which 
is kept separate. If the beans are over-roasted a smaller propor- 
tion of oil is obtained. The proportions of oil to cake, etc., obtained 
by this method are 30 \ per cent, of oil : 43 1 per cent, of cake : 20 
per cent, of husk-wastage. 

(3) The seed ma^ be first boiled and then dried in the sun for 
two or three days, then pounded in a mortar, placed in four tinies 
its volume of water which is kept boiling, while the mixture is 
stirred with a wooden spoon as before. The skimming of the oil 
takes place as in process No. 2. The oil thus obtained is a superior 
lamp-oil to that obtained by process No. 2, though it is inferior to 
that obtained by process No. 1. 

(4) The seed may be soaked for a night in water, and next 
morning ground up in an ordinary yhani. The oil is removed grad- 
ually by putting a piece of cloth into the pulp and squeezing the 

' oil out of the cloth into a pot. This oil is also a better lamp-oil 



218 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

than that obtained by roasting the beans. This process gives the 
best oil-cake. 

That cold-drawing with proper machinery gives a larger yield, 
ought to encourage capitalists to adopt this method of extraction 
more and more. After the cold-drawn oil has been obtained by 
pressing the kernels in gunny bags, it is put in galvanized iron vats 
and bleached by exposure to the sun, which also causes the sedi- 
ment to precipitate. The oil is then filtered through vegetable 
charcoal and flannel bags. In the Eajshahi Jail, fire is put under- 
neath the machine when the kernels are pressed in canvas bags. 
This increases the yield of oil by 10 per cent., but some of the irri- 
tating and noxious properties of the seed, go into the oil, which 
make it unsuitable for medicinal purposes. But cold-drawn medi- 
cinal oil is also made in this jail. The processes adopted in jails 
are : 

(1) Cleaning and grading of the seed with hand. 

(2) Splitting of the seed with mallets, or with a machine, 
consisting of two iron rollers, set parallel to each other and at 
adjustable distance. 

(3) Sunning the seed and winnowing with kulo or sup, so as 
to separate the kernel from the husk on a wide masonry platform. 

(4) Crushing the kernels with dhenki, or with another roller 
machine. 

(5) Putting the pulp into canvas bag 15" X 12" and pressing 
it in screw presses in between plates of iron, about 150 bags being 
put in at each feed of the press. 

(6) Boiling (40 parts of oil with 5 to 8 parts of water) in cop- 
per pans ; great experience is needed for this operation. 

(7) Straining through a bed of charcoal and 8 folds of calico. 
The growing of castor in plantations for the purpose of rearing 

Eri silkworms on a large scale cannot be recommended. Eri silk 
rearing, to be profitable, must be carried on as a domestic industry 
by the poor. Poor delicate women who have no other avocation 
in particular can profitably employ their time in reading a few 
thousand silkworms indoors on dalas, picking leaves from near the 
immediate vicinity of their homesteads, utilising the cocoons for 
spinning thread with wheel or lakur (spindle), and weaving a coarse 
but substantial cloth out of it. Two or three pieces ot chadder 
cloth woven annually by a woman would bring her a gross outturn 
of Rs. 36, with no outgoings whatever. This in some districts 
would be considered a profitable industry for women. 



GROUND-NUT. 



219 



CHAPTER XL. 

GROUND-NUT (ARACHIS HYPOG^EA). 

THIS is a native of America, introduced into India probably 
through China about seventy years ago. It grows best on dry, sandy 
soil, and it is cultivated chiefly in the light soils of the Madras Presi- 
dency, but in increasing amount over many parts of Peninsular 
India and in Burma. The seed can be put down either in February,, 
or in May or June, or in September and October, or in fact, at any 
time except during the two rainy months. Sown in Muv or June 
the crop can be lifted in November and December, and sown in 
September or October, the crop can be lifted in MarcJi or April. 
In heavy clay soils, the cost of lifting the crop is not covered by 
the value of nuts obtained, and so many nuts remain behind 
undiscovered in the unbroken clods, that the plant comes up always 
afterwards like a weed. In such soils flooding may be done before 
lifting which makes digging easier. In light soils the yield is larger 
and the cost of cultivation less. In heavy soils it can, however, 
be grown as a fodder crop only, and in this case it is of high value 
for milch cows. It does not require irrigation (unless sowing is, 




FIG. 64. GROUND-NUT PLANT, SHOWING ROOT- 
NODULES, AND FULL-GROWN FRUITS. 

done at a dry season) and it grows without any trouble. It has 
the great advantage of enriching lands, specially sandy lands. 
The roots are full of nodules like the roots of arakar, dhaincha and 
sunn-hemp. The nut of the ground-nut plant is shown in full size 



HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 



in the figure. Grown year after year in tracts near Pondicherry 
the crop has degenerated and has become subject to diseases. It 
is necessary to observe the principle of rotation in dealing with this 
crop as with other crops. A judicious system of manuring with 
ashes and lime is also a desideratum. That the crop seems to stand 
a good deal of neglect and does equally well at first with or without 
manure, are facts which have the tendency of throwing cultivators off 
their guard, as after taking several crops successfully out of the same 
land, they are surprised that the crop should show a tendency to 
deteriorate all of a sudden. This is the case now with the ground-nut 
cultivation of the Madras Presidency which is threatened with 
ruin. The demand for ground-nut and ground-nut-oil is very 
great, especially in France, and light soils in Bengal may be chosen 
for growing this crop in a judicious manner, that the demand may 
be met from Bengal pari passu with the failure of supply from 
Madras. Half a maund of seed may be sown per acre at a distance 
of nine inches either way. The outturn may come to forty maunds 
per acre. Many types of foreign seed from Spain, Japan ai\d 
America have been tried with success, particularly in Western 
India and in Burma, and consequently the area under the crop in 
these regions has rapidly increased. 

The oil burns slowly, but it does not give a brilliant light. 
It is almost as good as olive oil, and is largely used even for medi- 
cinal purposes as a substitute for olive oil. It does not get rancid 
so quickly as other oils do. It is largely used for adulterating cocoa- 
nut and other oils. In Europe it is extensively employed for soap- 
making, tor dressing cloth, and for lubricating machinery. The 
yield of oil is about forty per cent. It is unfortunate that the export 
should be chiefly in the form of nuts and not in the form of oil only, 
as the cake would be of great benefit to the country as a food and 
as manure for the soil. 

The ground-nut oil-cake fattens cattle very rapidly. Indeed 
it has been recommended as a highlv nutritious and agreeable hu- 
man food in a cooked condition. The cake is actually richer than 
peas and lentils in flesh-forming matter, while it contains more fat 

phosphoric acid than pulses. The percentage composition of 



the cake is given below : 

Moisture 

Fat 

Nitrogenous matter 

Sugar and starch 

Fibre 

Ash 



9'6 

11-8 

31*9 

37'8 

4-3 

4-6 



OOCOANUT. 

CHAPTER XLI. 

COCOANUT (COCOS NUCIFEBA). 

ALTHOUGH in the ordinary sense cocoanut cannot be regarded 
as a crop, yet cocoanut oil is so extensively used in India, and 
so largely exported, that it should find a place in our description 
of the oil-seed crops. The area under cocoanut in India has been 
estimated at 480,000 acres. The tree is put to such varied uses 
that it can be regarded as much in the light of an oil-crop, as in 
that of timber, fibre, fuel, vegetable, fruit or miscellaneous crop. 
A vinegar is made of the juice of this palm, also toddy, punch and 
liqueur. GUT and sugar are also made out of the juice. Soap and 
candles made out of cocoanut oil has a larger percentage of water 
than any other soap and candles. Being soluble in saline or hard 
water, it is used in the manufacture of marine soap, but the smell 
being offensive, it is not used in the manufacture of high class toilet 
soaps. One to two million gallons of cocoanut oil is exported 
annually, chiefly to England. 

The sliced kernel, dried in the sun, or artificially dried, contains 
ftom 30 to 50 per cent, of oil. The country methods of extraction 
of oil fall under two heads : (1) Dry expression ; (2) Extraction by 
boiling. 

(1) Half a cwt. of dried kernel is a charge for a full-sized ghani 
and a pair of stout bullocks will get through four charges a day, 
so that 20 yhanis are required to get through two tons of kernels 
in 24 hours. The man who drives has a boy to assist him in taking 
oil, which is got out of the mortar by dipping a piece of rag into 
the fluid and squeezing it out into an earthen vessel, but if the bul- 
locks are trained the boy can be dispensed with. 

(2) The second process consists in boiling the kernels with 
an equal quantity of water, then grating and squeezing in a press. 
The emulsion thus obtained is again boiled until the oil is found 
to rise to the surface. Fifteen to twenty nuts yield two quarts 
of oil treated in either way. 

The first method is the one commonly employed. 

The merits of coir as a rope-fibre, possessing elasticity and 
lightness and a high power of resistance to the action of water are 
now recognised all over the world. About ten million pounds of 
coir and coir-made rope are now exported annually from India. 
Fifty cocoanuts yield about 61bs. of coir. About six lakhs of rupees 
worth of nuts are also exported annually from India. 

An acre planted with 200 cocoanut palms (about 15ft. mpart) 
would yield in coir alone 2 to 2J annas per tree or nearly Us. 30 
for the 200 trees. The average yield of fruits may be put down at 
eight annas per tree or Rs. 100 per acre. But the plantation to 
yield so much must be situated within 100 miles of the sea-coast^ 
that the sea-breeze may bring enough of salt into the soil to keep 
up its vigour for this crop. At the time of planting also, half a 



22 



HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 



*seer of khari nimak (crude salt) should be used per plant. The 
seed-cocoanuts used should, if possible, be imported from Ceylon 
or Madras. In Madras, cocoanut plantations are kept regularly 
irrigated. 

The cocoanut flowers in about five years after planting, in the 
-hot weather. The nuts are ripe and ready for plucking in ten months 
after flowering. Nuts allowed to remain too long on trees, the 
fibre gets coarse and brittle. The fibre of green nuts is lighter and 
finer, but there is less quantity and it is weaker. The removal of 
the fibre from the shell is effected by forcing the nut upon a pointed 
implement struck into the ground. With this arrangement, one 
man can clean 1,000 nuts a day. The fibrous husks are next 
submitted to a soaking, which is variously conducted. In some 
places they are placed in pits of salt or brackish water for 6 to 18 
months (fresh water spoiling the fibre). If steam is admitted into 
the steeping vat to warm the water, the operation is rendered shorter 
and the fibre is also softened and improved. The further separation 
-of the fibre from the husk is largely effected by the hand. After 
thorough soaking the husks are beaten with heavy wooden mallets 
-and then rubbed between the hands, until all the interstitial cellu- 
lar substances are separated from the fibrous portion. When quite 
clean, it is arranged into a loose roping preparatory to being twisted, 
which is done between the palms of the hands in such a way as to 
produce a yarn of two strands at once. 



Analysis of cocoanut. 



Total weight per cent. 

Moisture 

Dry matter 

"Nitrogen 

Pure ash 

Including 

Silica (SiOo) 

Oxide of iron and alumina 
(Fe 9 O a andAl 3 O 3 ) .. 

Lime (GaO) 

Magnesia (MgO) 

Potash (K,,O) 

Soda (Na a - O) 

Potassium chloride (K Cl) 

Sodium chloride (Na 01) 

Phosphoric acid (P 2 O 5 ) 
* Sulphuric acid (SO^) 



1,000 nuts removed 
from the soil. 

Nitrogen 

Phosphoric acid 

Potash 

Lime 

Sodium chloride 



Husk. 



Husk. 
57-28 
65-56 
34-44 
0-137 
1-K3 

T22 

0-54 
4-14 
2-19 
30-71 
3-19 

45-95 
1-92 
3-13 



Shell. 
11-59 
15-20 

84-80 

o-ioo 

0-29 
4 '(54 

1 '59 

<>-26 

1-32 

45-01 

15-42 

15-56 
4-64 
5-75 



Kernel. Milk. 

18-54 12-58 

52-80 nearly 100 
47-20 Trace 
0-504 Do. 
0-79 0*38 



1-31 



2-95 



0-59 


Trace 


3*10 


7-43 


1-98 


3-97 


45-84 


8-62 


1*3*-04 


41*-09 


5-01 


26-32 


20-33 


5-68 


8-79 


3-94 



Shell. Kernel. Milk. 



Total. 



Ibs. 


Ibs. 


Ibs. 


Ibs. 


Ibs. 


3-7017 


0-5460 


4-4100 


Trace. 


8-6577 


0-8456 


0-0735 


1-0453 


0-1279 


2-4523 


13-5255 


0-7127 


3-7362 


0-7783 


18-7527 


1-8234 


* 0-0991 


0-2143 


0-1674 


2-3042 


20-2375 


0-2464 


0-3563 


0*5431 


21-4235 



MAHUA. 223 

CHAPTER XLII. 

MAHUA (BASSIA LATIFOLIA, ETC.). 

As a sugar and fat yielding tree, the Bassia butyracea is of 
greater value than the common Bassia or mahua tree. This tree 
which is also called the Indian Butter tree grows in the Sub-Hima- 
layan tract between Kumaon and Bhutan at 1,000 to 5,000ft. 
above the level of the sea. The pulp of the fruit and even the cake 
left after the expression of oil are eaten by men. The flowers are 
not eaten like the flowers of the ordinary mahua tree but from them 
a syrup is prepared which is boiled down into sugar. It is equal, 
if not superior, to ordinary date-sugar. The gur having small grain 
fetches a smaller price. The oil is used as a substitute for ghi and 
largely employed for adulterating ghi. It burns with a bright light 
without smoke or smell and it makes excellent soap and candles. 
This tree has not been taken such notice of as it deserves. The oil 
is extracted in the following way. The seed is beaten to pulp and 
put in bags and subjected to pressure until all the fat is expressed. 
About 35 per cent, of fat is obtained out of the seed. It is largely 
used mixed up with attar as a hair-oil by up-country people, who 
called the fat phulwa. 

The common mahua tree which is found abundantly in the 
dry and stony regions of Bengal and, in fact, over the greater part 
of Central India is highly appreciated by the poorer people for its 
edible flowers, which drop in abundance in March and April. The 
fruits from which an edible oil is extracted ripen three months after 
the shedding of the flowers. In famine times the mahua tree is 
regarded as a life-saving tree. The timber of the mahua tree is also 
of considerable value, and in dry and arid regions in the plains 
where ordinary agricultural pursuits prove difficult, the propagation 
of this tree should be encouraged as much as possible. The dried 
flowers being steeped in water allowed to ferment, yield a spirit 
by distillation which is largely consumed by aboriginal tribes and 
others. Over six gallons of proof spirit can be produced from 1 cwt. 
of mahua. Each tree yields five to eight maunds of fresh flowers, 
which give about one maund of dry food. The dry flowers are an 
-excellent fattening food for cattle. They keep very long and they 
seem to resist the attack of weevils. 

The mahua oil is extracted from the kernel of the fruit. The 
kernels are taken out from the smooth chestnut coloured pericarp 
by being bruised, rubbed and subjected to moderate pressure. 
They are then ground and the oil obtained by expression. In the 
Central Provinces, the kernels are pounded and boiled and then 
wrapped up in two or three folds of cloth and the oil thereafter 
expressed. In the western tracts of Bengal and in the Central 
Provinces, the oil is largely used for lighting and as a substitute 
for ghi. It is of equal value with cocoanut oil for soap-making 
-and has been valued at 35 per ton in London. 



224 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

CHAPTER XLIII. 

SAFFLOWER (CARTHAMUS TINCTORIUS). 

THIS crop was formerly grown both as a dye-crop and as an oil- 
seed crop ; now it is exclusively produced for the sake of the oily 
seed. In the Central Provinces, safflower oil, though it is slightly 
bitter, is in common use for culinary and other purposes, and it is. 
sold at about 200 tolas per rupee like any other ordinary oil. For- 
merly it was chiefly for its red dye that it was cultivated all over 
India, as well as in Spain, Southern Germany, Italy, Hungary,. 
Persia, China, Egypt, South America, and Southern Russia. It is 
found in a wild state in the Punjab and elsewhere, the seeds of the 
wild safflower being much smaller than those of the cultivated kind, 
Safflower dye being fugitive and aniline colours gradually replacing 
it, the cultivation of this crop as a dye has almost entirely died out. 

It is usually sown along with some other rabi crop, such as 
gram, wheat, barley, tobacco, chillies, opium, or carrots, from the 
middle of October to the end of November. In Chittagong sowing 
is done as late as January. Low chur land is preferred for this crop. 
It is an exhausting crop and grown for three years in succession 
on the same soil it is known to yield very poor crops. In Jessore 
the crop is grown both on lowlands and on highlands, and it is 
found that the crop on highlands comes on earlier. It requires a 
light, well ploughed sandy soil, with a fair amount of moisture^ 
and on highland it does not succeed, unless there are three or four 
showers of rain or as many irrigations during the early stage of the 
plant. It is, therefore, usually grown as a subsidiary crop along 
with others that require irrigation and weeding. Rain is very injuri- 
ous to the crop after the flowers have formed, as the dye is washed 
out by rain. The central bud is usually nipped off to encourage 
side shoots and the growth of a larger number of flower heads. 
The flowers or rather florets are picked every second or third day, 
in January and February. They must be picked when they begin 
to get brightly coloured. Delay causes weakening of the dye. 
The picking of the flowers in favourable seasons may go on through 
March and even up to May. As fertilisation usually takes place 
before the picking, the removal of the florets from the heads does 
not interfere with the subsequent formation of seed which is gather- 
ed afterwards for oil. -The price of the dry florets varied from 
Rs. 20 to 30 per maund. The average yield of dry flowers is about 
$01bs. per acre and of seed 4001bs., 161bs. of seed being broadcasted 
per acre when it is sown by itself. There is also a thorny variety 
grown for oil, which is especially adapted for growing round fields 
as a protection against cattle. The spineless variety is preferred 
for flowers. 

Dye. The florets are dried ij^ shade (as exposure to sun weak- 
ens the dye) and sold afterwards ; or sometimes the dry florets 



SAFFLOWER. 225 

are powdered and sifted. The first and the last pickings give in- 
ferior dye. The pickings in the middle of the season give the best 
result. The dry florets contain two yellow dyes and a red dye, the 
latter being sought for in preference to the former. The yellow dyes 
have to be first extracted. One of them is highly soluble in water, 
and if the florets are kept in a basket and if clean river water 
(slightly acidulated, as alkaline water washes out the red dye) be 
poured on them, yellow dye will be found coming out. Trampling 
or kneading is continued at intervals while the yellow dye is being 
washed out, the operation taking three or four days, the mass being 
allowed to get dry between the washings. To ascertain if all the 
yellow colour has been removed, a small quantity of the stuff is 
thrown into a glass of clean water and it is seen if any yellow colour 
comes out. The pulpy mass is now squeezed between the hands 
into small, flat, round cakes, which when dry are sold in the market 
or exported as ''stripped safflower." 

The quality of this safflower cake is estimated by dyeinga known 
weight of cotton. Four ounces of safflower will dye lib. of cottou 
cloth light pink ; 8 ozs. will dye it rose pink ; 12 ozs. to lib. will dye 
it full crimson. The cotton must be dyed several times in fresh 
solutions that it may take up the whole of the dye. The red dye 
of safflower is carthamin or carthamic acid (C 14 H J6 7 ). Cold water 
or oil removes only one of the two yellow dyes in safflower which 
form 26 to 36 per cent, of the weight of the dry florets, while there 
is only '3 to *6 per cent, of carthamin. The second yellow dye is 
removed in this way. Acidulate with acetic acid the ' ' stripped 
safflower, ' ? filter, add acetate of lead and then ammonia to the fil- 
trate and the second yellow colour will be precipitated along with 
the lead salt. To extract carthamin in a pure state take carbonate 
of soda (washing soda), 15 per cent, of the weight of florets, after 
both the yellow dyes have been got rid of ; digest the florets in the 
alkaline solution ; filter and then precipitate the dye (which is in- 
soluble in acids) by addition of an acid. In India, pearl-ash from 
bajra or saji is used for obtaining the red dye. 

Oil. The dry husk of the seeds is removed by pounding in 
the dhenki. The oil is expressed in a ghani. One maund of seed 
yields 7 seers of oil, 14 seers of oil-cake and 19 seers of husk. 
The oil-cake is considered a very good manure for sugarcane, etc. 

Other economic uses. It is due to Dr. Watt that a most valuable 
property of safflower-oil has been only recently brought to 
light. Boiled slowly for four hours the oil becomes one of the 
best waterproofing materials known. It can be mixed with 
black oxide of manganese, or white lead, or yellow ochre, and 
the boiled oil so dyed applied with a brush on canvas or drill, 
or any other cloth to convert it into paulin or waterproof cloth. 
The boiled oil poured into cold water becomes a rubber-like 
substance, which can be used as a cement for sealing glass or 
fixing ornamental stones or tiles on walls. For this purpose it is- 

M, HA 15 



226 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

a much better substance to use than plaster of Paris. It is this 
rubber-like substance that is applied on ornamental cloths made 
in the Punjab, to preserve -the ornamentations intact. A small 
proportion (say 1 : 400) of arsenic should be used if the rubber-like 
substance is meant to keep out the attack of insects permanently. 



CHAPTER XLIV. 

JUTE (CoRCHORUS CAPSULARIS AND OLITORIUS). 

[Botanical classification; economic uses; history of the jute industry; area; 
main classes of jute grown ; trade classification ; early cultivation in East 
Bengal ; climate and soil suitable ; sowing of seed ; preparation ; harvesting ; 
steeping ; washing ; cost ; chemistry of jute fibre ; improvements suggested.] 

Botanical classification. The four common varieties of jute, 
all of which may be found in the wild state in India even in locali- 
ties where jute is not cultivated (e.g., in the district of Pertapgurh 
in Oudh, if one looks for the plants there in October), are the 
Corchorus olitorius (the long cylindrical podded and black seeded 
variety), the Corchorus capsularis (the round capsuled and brown 
seeded variety), the Corchorus acutangulus (the short and winged 
podded variety), and Corchorus antichorus, the bil-nalita, which 
is wild and never cultivated. The third variety is also rarely cul- 
tivated. The first which is more common in Southern Bengal, 
may be designated Deshi pat ; the second which is more common 
in Northern and Eastern Bengal may be designated Serajgunj 
pat. 

Uses. The young leaves specially of Corchorus capsularis, 
are eaten as a potherb, and the dry leaves, specially of the Deshi 
pat (Corchorus olitorius), as an alternative and febrifuge medicine 
(nalita). The stems, after the removal of the fibre are sometimes 
used for making gunpowder charcoal. 

The jute-cultivating industry is practically a creation of the 
last century. The first separate mention of jute as an article 
of export is made in the customs returns for 1828, when only 364 
cwt. of this fibre went to Europe. In 1854, the first European 
factory was established at Rishra near Serampore. Several jute 
factories for baling of raw jute and manufacture of rope and gunny 
bags, sprang up round about Calcutta in the course of a few years, 
until at the present time the total value of the fibre has reached 
the sum of many crores of .rupees. The outturn is annually increas- 
ing ; and within the five years 1900 to 1905 the outturn rose more 
than twenty-five per cent. There are now between thirty and 
forty jute mills at work in Bengal for the manufacture of gunny 
bags. These contain about two hundred thousand spindles and 
fourteen thousand looms. 

Area. The area under jute in India is over two and a half 
million acres. The jute-growing area is practically confined to 
the damp and warm districts of Eastern, Northern and Southern 
Bengal and of Assam. 



JUTE. 



227 



The principal jute-growing districts of Bengal and Assam 



are : 



Maimenaingh 

Kangpur 

Purnea 

Tippera 

Uacca 

Pabna 

Faridpur 

Bajshahi 

Bogra 

Jalpaiguri 

Dinajpur 



650,000 acres. 

302 000 

300,000 

266,400 

171,000 

140,000 

95,000 

84,000 

72,000 

66,000 

60,000 



Varieties. The round fruited variety (the Corchorus cap- 
sularis) is more commonly grown, except in the districts round about 
Calcutta and in Midnapur where the long fruited variety (the 
Corchorus olitorius) prevails. The latter cannot stand water- 
logging and is therefore grown only on high land which never gets 
under water. There are varieties of Corchorus capsularis which 
can stand four or five feet of water at the latter part of growth, and 
such varieties are harvested by people wading and diving in water. 
In the bil land north of Rajshahi this variety can be seen and it 
is sown very early in the season, in February and March when the 
bil land is quite dry. The Serajgunj Deswal jute is a very early, 
short and branched variety of Corchorus capsularis which has very 
white fibre. It is grown on dearh land, and is cut as the water 
rises. The Kakaya-Bombay is an unbranched, late and a more 
prolific variety of Corchorus capsularis which also produces very 
white fibre, lied stemmed varieties of Corchorus capsularis known 
by various names (such as Vidyasundar) produces yellowish 
or brownish fibre, which, though as strong, fetches a little lower 
price. Early and late varieties of Corchorus olitorius are also rec- 
ognized, the late varieties, as in the case of Corchorus capsularis, 
being always more prolific. The fibre of Corchorus olitorius is 
stronger than that of Corchorus capsularis , but its specific gravity 
being greater it fetches a little lower price. The fibre of Corchorus 
olitorius is never so bright and white as that of the other species. 
For the mat-weaving trade in Midnapur is always preferred the 
fibre of Corchorus olitorius on account of its strength, and locally 
therefore it enjoys a greater value than the fibre of Corchorus cap- 
sularis. The Corchorus olitorius is known at Serajgunj as Tosha 
pat. Round about Calcutta it is known as Deshi pat. Dowrah is 
another name by which the fibre of Corchorus olitorius is known in 
the deltaic area of Bengal. In trade all jute comes under the 
following classes ; (1) Deshi, (2) Dowrah, (3) Naraingunge, (4) 
Serajgunj, and (5) Uttariya, these being the five geographical 
areas in which the jute districts are divided, but the division is 
entirely arbitrary, and it does not imply quality of fibre, which 
varies very much in each local area. Corchorus capsularis prefers 
a lighter class of soil than Corchorus olitorius. 



228 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

Yield. Fifteen maunds of fibre may be taken as the average 
produce per acre, twelve maunds being the produce of the early 
varieties and twenty maunds of the late varieties. As 75 per 
cent, of the jute is grown for sale and export, 16 crores of rupees 
per annum at present represent the reserve or potential food-earn- 
ing capacity of raiyats, which may be utilized in course of time for 
its legitimate purpose as population increases and greater stress 
is felt by the cultivator. All non-food crops grown chiefly for 
sale and export by the cultivator may be looked upon in this light. 
In 1905 the price of jute prevailing was so great (about Rs. 10 per 
maund), that the raiyats of Eastern Bengal reached the extreme 
limit in cultivating jute, and as the rice crop was not a good one 
that year, the stock of food-supply in 1906 was found to be too short. 
But there was, of course, money in the hands of raiyats, and they 
could import and buy grain. There was thus no actual famine, 
though the local supply of food grains was deficient, and hardship 
was felt by the poor who had no connection with the jute tj*ade. 

Conditions of success A damp and warm climate and yet not 
too incessant rainfall, are the essential conditions of success of 
this crop. Experiments in growing jute in Madras and Bombay 
have been unfavourably reported upon, and there is not 
much prospect of competition elsewhere ruining the jute 
industry of Bengal. Attempts at growing jute in South Bihar, 
Chota Nagpur, Orissa and other dry places in Bengal are not very 
successful either. 

Soil. With the exception of rocky, laterite and poor sandy 
soils, all soils are adapted for jute cultivation. Rich loam, of course, 
gives the best result. The coarse varieties grow luxuriantly in low 
lying lands, but a better quality of fibre is obtained from Aus land. 
Pulses, oats, barley, wheat, tobacco and Aus paddy are grown on 
such lands in rotation. Dearh and chur lands and islands, also 
bil lands and ordinary Aman lands produce more vigorous growth 
and longer fibre, but the quality of the fibre is poorer. An excess 
of salt (such as occurs in the Sunderbun soils) does not injuriously 
affect the Corchorus olitorius, though it is not quite suitable for 
the Corchorus capsularis. In lands south of Calcutta therefore the 
Corchorus olitorius should be grown in preference, on highlands. 
If possible, sunn-hemp or dhaincha should precede jute and on no 
account should two crops of jute be taken in succession on the same 

land. 
* 

Cutivation In lowlands, preparation ought to begin in 
November or December, though usually the winter cultivation is 
neglected and the first ploughing given in February or March before 
sowing. Two'ploughings and two cross-ploughings with ladder- 
ing and one harrowing or collecting of weeds, are a sufficient pre- 
paration^, but previous aerification by occasional stirring continued 
for a long period is essential. 4 The sowing in lands subject to 



JUTE. 229 

flooding takes place in March and in some parts of Eastern Bengal 
in February. Sowing goes on from February till June according to 
the position of the soil and amount of rainfall. In the bil land 
north of Rajshahi where very heavy outturns are obtained sowing 
is done as early as February. In 1906 the rainfall in February was 
so heavy that even in Nadia a good deal of jute was sown in Feb- 
ruary, and February sowing that year gave the best result. July 
sowing usually fails, but it may succeed in Bihar and Chota Nag- 
pur. One and a half seers per bigha (i. e., nine pounds per acre) 
is the quantity of seed to be used. Exchange of seed is practised 
to a certain extent by the cultivators. The ordinary time for 
harvesting the crop is the middle of August to the middle of Sep- 
tember. But jute- washing begins in July in some parts and goes on 
to the end of November in others, the early varieties being harvest- 
ed in July and the late varieties from October. Ten to thirty 
maunds of fibre are obtained per acre ; but the average may be 
put down at fifteen maunds. By using two or two and a half 
tseers of seed per bigha, i.e., by thicker sowing, no better yield in 
fibre is obtained, and the direction in which improvement should 
be aimed at to arrest the degeneracy that is at present going 
on in the jute crop, would be to get the cultivators to do the 
sowing thin in growing this crop for seed-purposes. By thick 
sowing the crop yields poorer seed and the degeneracy comes 
through poverty of seed. 

The seed should be sown by drilling, only nine inches apart, so 
that hoeing with wheel-hoe or bullock-hoe may be done. Hoeing 
at least once should be done after sowing when the plants are well 
up, and if possible, one hand-hoeing and one wheel-hoeing or bul- 
lock-hoeing should be given at an interval of a fortnight or twenty 
days between the two operations before the rains set in regularly, 
when wheel or bullock-hoeing will not be feasible ; or the wheel 
or bullock-hoeing may be done* when the land is not too wet, say, 
^at the end of June, and the weeds pulled up with hand when the 
rains have set in properly. Native cultivators use the bidia after 
germination to loosen the soil and uproot extra plants. 

Maturing. Where there is silt deposit no manuring is 
required. Elsewhere cowdung at the rate of 150 maunds per acre 
may be applied where necessary. All fibre crops are appreciably 
benefited by cowdung manure, except those belonging to the 
leguminous order. Growing of a preparatory crop of dhaincha 
or sunn-hemp has been already recommended. 

The proper time for harvesting is when the fruits have just 
commenced to form. Cut earlier, the produce is less and some- 
what weak, though whiter and more glossy. Cut later, the fibre 
is coarser and rougher, though slightly heavier, but it does not do 
getting a heavier outturn of coarse and dirty fibre. The degen- 
eracy complained of by jute merchants is also due to the cultiva- 
tors allowing the jute to stand till the seed has begun to mature. 



230 HANDBOOK OP AGRICULTURE. 

In this way they secure some partially mature seed, and get a 
little heavier outturn, but of coarser fibre. 

Steeping should be done in fairly deep clear, sweet (not salt) 
but stagnant water. If steeping is done in running water a longer 
time is required for retting, and the fibre is infiltrated with a grey 
deposit of iron salts. Salt water also delays the process of retting. 
Steeped in shallow and dirty water also the fibre is somewhat 
grey, and it takes longer retting, specially if the whole heap is not 
entirely submerged in water. The grey colour is due to the 
deposit of iron salts. Districts of which the soil is too rich in iron 
are not suitable for growing high class jute. 

Method employed. After the plants have been cut, they are left 
in the field for two or three days for their leaves to shed. The 
stalks are then gathered, tied in small bundles and arranged in heaps 
of about two maunds each, which are covered with leaves and 
weeds and earth and left in this state for three or four days. These 
heaps should be made on high ground and not in water-logged fields. 
The bundles are then well shaken of leaves, the branching tops 
being lopped off y and then removed to water where they are kept 
submerged under a weight of logs or wood, earth and weeds being 
also used for weighting the bundles. If it is not feasible to give 
bac"~ to the soil the shed leaves and the tops which are of great 
man rial value, the stems may be removed for retting to water as 
soon as they are cut with leaves and all. In the hot weather, i.e., 
from July to September, the retting is finished in ten days to a 
fortnight. If cold weather sets in, it takes longer sometimes as 
long as two months, in which case some of the fibre gets too much 
retted, or rotten, and others not retted enough, and the colour of 
the fibre is grey and the outer bark is not entirely removed from 
the lower part of the fibre. The submerged bundles should be 
examined from time to time after a week to see that the stems 
are not over-retted. Over-retting not only makes the fibre 
darker in colour, but it also weakens it. When the retting is 
complete, bundle after bundle is taken by a man going down into 
water, and the lower end of the bundle is battered with a flat 
stick or mallet, usually made out of palm-leaf midrib. The pith- 
sticks of the lower end are separated from the fibre by shaking them 
out in water. The man then takes hold of the bundle of fibre and 
by alternate pushing and-pulling with a jerky motion, the whole of 
the fibre out of the bundle is drawn out. Each bundle of fibres 
is Vinsed and washed, the excess water wrung out from it, and 
it is then opened out in long strands and hung up in the sun to 
get dry. The wet bundles of fibre are kept in a heap for one 
day, and the exposure to the sun given from the second day. 
This improves the colour of the fibre. Another plan is to break 
off the bundle against the knee in the middle (a smaller bundle 
which can be conveniently broken being taken), to shake off the 
portions of the pith stalks at the thicker end, to wrap the fibres 



JUTE. 



231 



from these portions round the palm of the right hand and then 
pull and push the rest of the stalks as before, in water, until all 
the fibres are removed. Instead of merely rinsing and wringing 
the fibres clean, it is better to wash them cleaner by taking larger 
handfuls at a time and swinging them round the head and dashing 
them repeatedly against the surface of the water, until the impuri- 
ties are washed out. After exposing the fibres for two or three 
days in the sun, they should be tied in bales and got ready for sale. 
If the washing can be done away from the steeping place in clean 
and running water the fibre would be cleaner, but this is generally 
not feasible. 

The cost of cultivation inclusive of manure comes to about 
Rs. 32 per acre as will appear from the following calculation : 



March 
April 

Do. 

Do. 

Do. 

May 
July 
August 

Do. 

Do. 

Do. 

Do. 
September 

Do. 



1st ploughing and cross-ploughing followed 

by laddering 
2nd ploughing and cross-ploughing with 

beaming 
Spreading 150 mds. of cowdung before 

2nd ploughing ... 
Broadcasting 4 seers seed (with cost of 

seed) 

Harrowing immediately afterwards 
One hand weeding 
Pulling up of weeds 
Cutting of stems (10 men) 
Tying bundles 
Making heaps 
Removing to water 
Cost of weighting 
Washing (40 men) 
Drying and making bundles 
Rent for half year 



Rs. 

1 



A. 

8 



P. 





6 






11 








4 





6 








1 


8 





1 


14 








15 








6 








9 





2 








7 


8 





1 


8 





1 


8 






Rs 32 8 



The outturn when so much money is spent, ought to come to 
15 maunds per acre, which at Rs. 6 per maund, would bring 
a net profit of Ks. 58 per acre. The price of jute varies from 
Rs. 5 to Rs. 10 per maund. 

Chemistry of Jute. Jute may be called a ligno-cellulose, stand- 
ing midway between cotton which is almost pure cellulose and 
lignose of woody fibre. Good qualities of jute have the following 
composition : 



Cellulose 
Pectose matters 
Mineral matter 
Fat and wax 
Extractive matter 



64 to 70 per cent. 
24 to 28 
0-2 to 2 
0'4 to 0'8 
1 to 2 



The proportion of cellulose in jute is much less than in 
cotton. In fact, jute-fibre when young is richer in cellulose 
but gradually this becomes partly converted into lignose. Like 



232 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE 

cotton, jute can be dissolved by a concentrated solution of zin^ 
chloride or by a mixture of zinc chloride and hydrochloric acid. 
By dilution and acidification of the solution, the fibre is precipi- 
tated as a gelatinous hydrate to the extent of 75 to 80 per cent, 
of the original fibre when the solution is fresh. It is important 
to distinguish between jute and cotton, as jute cloths are now 
commonly sold in the market. Chlorine combines readily with 
jute, the latter taking up fifteen to sixteen per cent, of this element. 
If the chlorinated fibre be treated with a solution of sodium 
sulphite, a magenta red colour is obtained, which is characteristic 
only of jute fibre. To distinguish jute from flax and hemp, an 
aqueous solution of iodine should be used. Jute is coloured deep 
brown, while flax and hemp are coloured blue or violet. Jute 
absorbs acids and alkalis from solutions, much more readily than 
cotton, and it is therefore not such a lasting fibre as cotton. If 
the alkaline treatment is carried on at high temperatures (as 
in the Dhobis' boiler) the non-cellulose constituents of the jute 
are attacked and converted into soluble products, the fibre finally 
getting disintegrated. 

Improvement recommended. (1) Thin sowing ; (2) Eeservation of 
the best portion of crop for seed which should be allowed to mature 
fully ; (3) Harvesting when pods have begun to form ; (4) Long- 
preparation of soil ; (5) Exchange of seed with some district where 
the soil and climate are somewhat different. 



CHAPTER XLV. 
DECCAN OR BOMBAY HEMP (HIBISCUS CANNABINUS). 

BOMBAY hemp, Ambari hemp, or Deccan hemp, called in 
Bengal Mesta-pdt, in Orissa Kaunria and in Bihar Paltua or Kud- 
run, is grown largely as a crop and as a hedge-plant, in Madras, 
the Centra] Provinces and Bombay. It is also grown to a certain 
extent in the United Provinces and the Punjab. In Bengal, it is 
grown chiefly in Chota-Nagpur. The merits of this fibre have not 
hitherto been recognised as they deserve, l by exporters. It is 
superior to jute in every respect and its cultivation should be 
encouraged wherever possible, and the method of cultivation 
changed. The lower part of the stem contains the best fibre 
and as much as possible of this should be secured in harvesting. 
It is not only used as substitute for jute but also for making fishing 
nets and paper. The pulp for making paper out of mesta-pdt is 
made by adding six seers of kaolin and a maund of clean water to 
every maund of fibre. Slips of sized paper weighing 39 grains 
made from maize stalk pulp, jute pulp and mesta-pdt pulp, bore 
respectively the weights of 4tlbs., GOlbs. and 711bs., which show 
the superiority of the mesta-pdt $s an article for the paper-manu- 
facturing industry. The length of the fibre is five to ten feet as 



DECCAN. 233 

in the case of jute. The best, i.e., strongest and glossiest, fibre 
is obtained when the plant is in flower, and not as in the case of 
jute, Crotalaria juncea, and Abroma augusta, when it is just in fruit. 
Jute contains 76 per cent, of cellulose, mesta-pdt 73 per cent., nonu 
fibre 62*3 per cent., plantain fibre 64*6 per cent., sunn-hemp 83 
per cent, and sida fibre as much as 83*8 per cent. Though in 
respect of cellulose it is not equal to the best fibres, in point of 
strength it is almost as good as sunn-hemp and it is much glossier 
than jute and stronger. The following facts illustrate the strength 
of the mesta-pdt fibre : 

(a) A line prepared from mesta-pdt fibre obtained from plants 
cut when in blossom and steeped immediately, sustained the weight 
of 1331bs. when wet, and 1151bs. when dry, 

(6) A line prepared from mesta-pdt fibre obtained from plants 
cut when the seed was ripe, sustained a weight of 1181bs. when 
wet, and HOlbs. when dry. 

(c) A line prepared from sunn-hemp fibre obtained from plants 
cut when in flower sustained a weight of 1851bs. when wet, and 
1301bs. when dry. 

(d) A line prepared from sunn-hemp fibre obtained from plants 
<mt, when in fruit sustained a weight of 2091bs. when wet, and 
IGOlbs. when dry. 

Rocky and laterite soils which are not suitable for jute culti- 
vation are well adapted for the cultivation of mesta-pdt, and areas 
that are not considered suitable for growing ordinary jute may 
be well utilized in growing mesta-pdt, while it should be also 
noted that low-lying lands which are flooded, are not suitable for 
this crop, though jute may be grown in them. The yield of this 
fibre is about the same as that of jute, and the fibre is extracted 
even more easily than jute-fibre. At Sibpur, the average yield of 
jute is twenty maunds per acre and of mesta-pdt twelve to fifteen 
maunds. From water-logged plots a smaller outturn was obtained. 
The best result in quality is obtained by the bundles of stems being 
steeped in water immediately after cutting. 

The young leaves of this plant are eaten as a pot-herb, and 
the seed, which is rich in oil, makes a good cattle-food and is so used 
in Poona and also as a source of edible oil. 

All the remarks regarding the cultivation of the jute crop ap- 
ply to this crop also. The extension of the cultivation of this crop 
is an important measure of agricultural improvement. The fibre 
has a bad reputation in the Calcutta market, but it is not the fault 
of the plant but of the extraction of fibre. Cultivators get seed 
and fibre out of the same plants and allow them to get too mature. 
The plants being cut at the proper time, i.e., when just coming to 
flower, the fibre is superior to jute fibre. .Mr. Benson, Manager 
of the Shalimar Rope Works, who buys the mesta-pdt grown 
at the Sibpur Farm, speaks highly of it, and he pays a higher price 
for it than for jute. Fifteen seers of seed are sown per acre, if the 
crop is grown singly as it should be. 



234 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

The improvements recommended in the cultivation of this 
crop are : (1) long preparation of the soil ; (2) growing it as a single 
crop and not in mixture with other crops ; (3) harvesting the crop 
for fibre when the plants are Justin flower and reserving the best 
plants for seed till they are dead ripe ; and (4) removing the cut 
plants in the fresh state to water for retting. 



CHAPTER XLVI. 
SUNN-HEMP (CROTALARIA JUNCEA). 

THIS is the ordinary sunn, but not the true hemp, or Can- 
ndbis sativa, of commerce. Hibiscus cannabinus (see above) is also 
called sunn or Bombay hemp. The Cannabis saliva or bhang plant 
is found in the wild state in most parts of India, but the fibre is 
rarely extracted from the wild or cultivated hemp plant, except 
by some hill tribes. In fact, the hemp plant does not produce a 
valuable fibre in the plains of India. The sunn of India is either 
Crotalaria juncea or Hibiscus cannabinus. That Hibiscus canna- 
binus is classed in the Indian markets sometimes with jute and 
sometimes with sunn-hemp, shows also the greater value of this 
article than of ordinary jute. The true hemp plant, producing 
ganja and siddhi, is an excisable article and its cultivation is pro- 
hibited by law. This may also account for the non-recognition 
of true hemp as a fibre-yielding crop in India. 

Two varieties of sunn-hemp are commonly grown in India, 
a tall variety having a weaker fibre and a short variety with a 
stronger fibre. The former is recognised in Mymensingh as a great 
fertiliser of the soil. 

The seed of the Indian sunn (Crotalaria juncea) is sown very 
thick from the 15th April to 15th June and in Eastern Bengal in 
September and October also. The plant flowers in August, but 
it should not be cut till September when the seeds have properly 
formed. Sown in September or October the harvesting season 
is February. It is not a profitable crop to grow in the ordinary 
lowlying districts of Bengal, except as a fertiliser of the soil. 
Clay soil, rich soils and low damp soils give vigorous growth, 
but poor yield of a coarser fibre. High and light soils are 
better suited for this crop. Old alluvium is better adapted for 
this crop than new alluvium, when it is grown for fibre. As a legu- 
minous crop, sunn-hemp is recognised even by cultivators as a 
renovator of soils, and it is a good preparation to grow this 
before a valuable crop, especially before sugarcane, tobacco, 
potato, jute, and some other crops. It is sometimes ploughed 
in, in young state, as a green ipanure, by cultivators of Mymen- 
singh and many other parts of India. 



RHEA. 235 

In rough or sandy soil very little tillage is required for the crop. 
Two ploughings followed by one laddering is a sufficient prepara- 
tion for sowing. The seed should be drilled six inches by four 
inches ap^art, that is thicker than in the case of jute and mesta-pat. 
Twelve to fifteen Ibs. of seed per acre will be found sufficient if the 
seed is drilled. If sown broadcast, it is best to use half a maund 
of seed per acre. 

The steeping of sunn stalks is sometimes done exactly in the 
same way as that of jute stalks, but in dry regions, the plants are 
sometimes left to dry in the fields after they are cut and the steep- 
ing done afterwards. In Lower Bengal, however, the climate 
is too moist, and dry stacking would spoil the fibre. The yield 
of fibre per acre is 200 to l,2001bs. ; the average being about 
640 Ibs. (8 maunds), worth about Rs. 100. 

There is st>me difference of opinion as to when sunn plants 
should be cut, whether in flower, or in fruit, or when the fruits are 
ripe. Every system has its supporter, and practice varies. Ex- 
periments conducted in different regions can alone decide the point. 
There is difference of opinion also as regards the best method 
of extracting the fibre. Various systems are followed: (l)The 
stems are buried in some places in mud in the margin of tanks, 
(2) In other places they are submerged in water and weighted like 
jute. (3) In some places running water is chosen and in others 
stagnant water. (4) In dry regions the stems are tied in bundles 
of twenty to one hundred and left on the field until they are quite 
dry. After two days' steeping in water, the fibres are easily 
detached. (5) Separation is also effected without retting. When 
steeped like jute, four days' to a weeks' steeping is sufficient 
in the hot weather and oversteeping must be avoided. When 
retting is complete, bundle after bundle is taken and threshed 
in water until the fibre separates out. The drying of bundles of 
sunn is done in the same way as drying of jute fibre ; but heckling 
is afterwards required to get clean fibres parallej one to another. 
One-third of the wefght of the fibre is lost in thte heckling process, 
but the tow obtained is a useful material for making paper. 

The seed of stwn-hemp used as fodder increases the flow of 
milk of milch cows. 



CHAPTER XLVIL 

RHEA (BOEHMERIA NIVEA, &c.). 

L Prospects of the crop ; Very fertile and damp soil necessary ; Land must never 
be water-logged; Native methods of preparing fibre; xield, Indian, Euro- 
pean and Chinese figures ; Method of cultivation ; Propagation from seed, 
roots and cuttings ; European methods of extraction of fibre ; Faure ' 
method taken up by the Bihar Rhea Syndicate ; Burn & Co.ts method ; merits* 
of the fibre.] 

THIS crop is also known as Ramie, China-grass, and Kankurd. 
Inordinate hopes are raised from time to time regarding the pros- 
pects of the rhea-planting industry, but there is little hope of its 



236 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

being worked with profit in this country, except with very expensive 
European machinery. The hand-stripping of ribbons or bark, as 
practised in China and in this country, is very expensive. The 
crudely cleaned and unbleached fibre is used by the ^Burmese, 
Assamese, Nagas and by the people of Rangpur, Jalpaiguri, Bogra, 
Dinajpur, Purneah, and Bhagalpur, for making fishing lines 
and nets. It is grown by a few cultivators only, each on a few 
square yards of land. But in none of these districts could the 
raw fibre be procured for less than eight annas a seer ; and if 
any considerable quantity is wanted from any of these districts, 
the raw article would not be forthcoming for less than Rs. 50 to 
Rs. 100 per maund. A decorticating machine could no doubt 
render the raw produce cheap, and there are now several of 
these claiming public favour, but more extensive trial is needed 
before one can say definitely that the rhea-cultivating industry will 
become profitable. 20 or even 40 a ton for the raw hand- 
stripped ribbons is not a sufficiently remunerative price for this 
article, and though such prices have been offered for some years, 
practically no rhea ribbons have been exported into Europe. 
Besides it is a mistake to suppose that rhea will grow anywhere 
and under any conditions and that crop after crop can be taken 
in any soil without manure. It is no doubt a perennial, but 
it grows best in shade, on rich loam, and the land must be above 
inundation level, but at the same time sufficiently moist to keep 
the plants in vigour. It demands the rankest and richest soils 
if a continuous series of crops is to be obtained. The crop 
luxuriates in fact only on the best tobacco soils of Rungpur. 
But even in Rungpur, the crop is of so little importance, that the 
village called Kankurapara (named after this crop) and where 
only the crop is considered of any importance, has only about 
twenty cultivators growing it. 

Native method of extraction. In Bogra the ribbons stripped from 
the stems are boiled in turmeric water for a 'few minutes, or in 
water in which rice has been boiled. This operation softens the 
fibre and assists in the subsequent cleaning process. In Bhagal- 
pur the green stems divested of leaves are boiled in water with the 
addition of 10 chhitaks of saji per maund of plant put in the boiler, 
and the whole allowed to simmer or boil for one and a half to two 
hours. Bundles of boiled stems are afterwards dashed on a board, 
firgt one end, then the other, until all the pith is removed. 
The fibre is again boiled for half an hour in the original liquor and 
then again beaten and washed on the board which is arranged like 
a dhdbie's board by the side of water. 

Scraping off the outer bark or parenchyma is practised in 
most districts, before the fibre is hand-stripped. In Assam after 
the leaves have been stripped off a stem it is divested of the 
outer skin by rubbing it with a blunt knife, after which the stem 
is left to dry for two or three days in the hot sun. The third 



RHEA. 23T 



morning after the stem has been exposed to dew for several houra 
the fibre is drawn off the stem by breaking the woody stalk right 
through towards the thicker end and then separating the fibre 
therefrom by drawing it off gently towards the slender end, some 
care being required in giving the fibre the peculiar twist in order 
to draw it off without breaking. A good deal of the fibre (about 
one-fifth) remains adhering to the stem after the drawing off has 
been done as described. 



|. A maund of green stems produces about a seer of fair- 
ly white fibre treated in this way, i.e., only two and a half per cent. 
Seven to eight maunds of fibre may be obtained per acre per 
annum, but the separation of the fibre from the stems is so difficult 
and costly that cultivators actually go in for cultivating a few 
square yards each, and no deductions as to cost and outturn can be 
definitely drawn with regard to this fibre from the data they are 
able to furnish. Some estimate the produce at as much as 50 to 
55 maunds per acre. 

In Spain and other European and American countries where 
rhea is being grown experimentally and where machinery }s used 
for the extraction of fibre, 500 acres of a properly managed plan- 
tation is estimated to produce 7,000 to 9,000 tons of green stems- 
per annum, out of which it is estimated that five per cent, of fibre 
can be obtained, which is equivalent to 1,792 Ibs. of fibre per acre 
per annum. The average weight of 100 stems of full-grown rhea 
without leaves is about 241bs. The Chinese grow about 80,000 
stems per acre, i.e., about 19,2001bs. Paure's decorticating 
machine which extracts 3 per cent, of fibre which is in a purer 
state than China-grass, is said to produce, in European experiments 
5761bs. of fibre from one cutting. In the remaining two cuttings 
another 57 Gibs, at least may be reasonably expected, or a total 
of l,1521bs. per acre per annum, which at 30 per ton (the price 
paid in London for high class ' China-grass') is worth about 15 
or Ks. 225. From the European and American estimates and from 
the Chinese figures it seems, one may fairly estimate the produce 
of rhea fibre at l,0001bs. or say 12 maunds per acre per annum, 
which is a more reliable figure to go upon than either 7 to 8 maunds 
or 50 to 55 maunds per acre, which are the figures variously given 
by Bengal cultivators. Of course, the climate and soil have every- 
thing to do with the produce. Where the climate is damp and at 
the foot of a hill where the soil is renewed annually by silt deposit, 
and the soil is always more or less damp, without ever getting 
water-logged, twenty-five maunds of fibre may be obtained, while in 
dry localities the produce may not reach even five maunds to the 
acre. 

Method of cultivation. Rhea is propagated from stem-cuttings- 
and root-cuttings, also from seed. The cuttings six inches to 
nine inches long may be planted horizontally three to four inches 
under soil one foot apart each way. Forty to fifty thousand 



238 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

cuttings are required to plant an acre. The fields should be weeded 
and hoed after each cutting of stems and heavily manured each 
year during the dry season. Blanks should be filled up from time 
to time by planting cuttings horizontally three inches deep as 
already mentioned. The shoots are cut down when the bottom 
portion of the stem begins to turn brown and the leaves low down 
the stem begin to fall off. Two to five cuttings are obtained 
annually according to the richness of the soil and the care with which 
the plants are tended, three cuttings being a good average crop. 
Six cuttings can be obtained in shade if the plants are heavily 
manured and watered. If stems ready for cutting are alone selected, 
.as is the practice with some intelligent cultivators, cuttings can be 
had uninterruptedly throughout the year. If the cuttings are 
first planted in September, the first 1 crop may be harvested in May 
(which is the shortest crop), the second in June (the best crop), 
the third in July, and the fourth in August. Planting of cuttings 
can take place in May and June also. 

If rhea is propagated from seed, it is necessary to sow the seed 
superficially on light sandy soil well manured with rotten dung. 
Rhea seed should not be covered with earth after sowing. Even 
a light covering of earth prevents germination. But on the seed- 
bed there should be a covering of mat put on as is done in sowing 
cabbage and cauliflower seed. This mat should be kept moist and 
the seed should not be watered direct. When plants have fully 
appeared the covering of mat should be taken off, and watering 
done occasionally a^ required. September is the best time for 
-sowing and transplanting rhea. The seedlings should be trans- 
planted when they are about three inches high. 

The question of the extraction of fibre from the steins is so 
important, that the Government of India offered at one time a 
reward of 5,000 for a rhea fibre-extracting machine, but this offer 
was withdrawn by a Resolution, dated 19th March 1881. This Res- 
olution says : ' ' From the low valuation put by the English 
firms on the samples of fibre produced at the late competition, it 
does not seem probable that Indian rhea fibre will be able, for the 
present at least, to compete successfully with the Chinese product ; 
while the experience which has been so far gained also points to 
the conclusion that in most parts of India the cultivation of rhea 
cannot be undertaken with profit. Rhea is naturally an equatorial 
plant and it requires a m'oist air and rich soil and plenty of water, 
wjiile extremes of temperature are unfavourable to it. Such 
conditions may be found in parts of Burma, in Upper Assam, and 
in some districts of Eastern and Northern Bengal, and if rhea 
can be grown in such places with only so much care as is required 
in an ordinary well-farmed field for a rather superior crop, it is 
possible that it may succeed commercially. Until, however, private 
enterprise has shown that the cultivation of the plant can be under- 
taken with profit in these or other parts of the country, and that 
<a real need has arisen for an improved method of preparing the 



KHEA. 239 

fibre in order to stimulate its production, the Government of India 
think it inadvisable to renew the offer, which it has now made 
for the second time without result, of rewards for suitable 
machines. " 

It is difficult to say whether the inventions lately made of 
machinery for decorticating and degumming the rhea fibre will really 
prove so valuable as they claim to be ; but there seem to be some 
very good machines among them. The inventions which should 
be prominently mentioned are those of Messrs. Burn & Co., of 
M. Faure, of Mr. Gomes, of Messrs. Macdonald, Boyle & Co!, of 
39, Victoria Street, Westminster, London, S. W., and of Mr. Charles 
J. Dear, of 28, Victoria Steeet, Westminster. 

Messrs. Macdonald, Boyle & Co., recommend two sets of 
decorticating battery, each set comprising of forty drums for a 
plantation of 400 acres. The machinery for a plant of this size 
will cost 3,000, without buildings. From this they anticipate an 
outturn of two tons of clean and dry fibre per day, at a cost of 
Rs. 282. 

Mr. Dear's process aims at decorticating the fresh cut stems 
on the plantations and degumming the crude fibre in England, 
where, in Yorkshire, Mr. Dear has equipped a factory to turn out 
per day 600 to l,0001bs. of fibre ready for spinning, at a cost of only 
1,000, exclusive of the motive power, but inclusive of the instal- 
lation of electric light. The supply of crude fibre comes to him 
from China. 

Faure 's New Patent Ramie Fibre Decorticator is also highly 
spoken of, and has been used to a considerable extent in Behar. 
A full account of it and its work by Mr. Bernard Coventry will be 
found in the Agricultural Journal of India, Vol. II. 

The fibre produced from the rhea plant is exceedingly 
durable. M. C. N. Riviere, the French Government Botanist at 
Algiers, states that the ramie linen supplied to the steamers of the 
Compagnie Transatlantique was in good condition after ninety 
voyages, while ordinary linen was worn out in forty-five trips. 
There seems little doubt as to the lasting qualities of ramie, 
and this, in addition to its silky character, would make it a highly 
valuable textile product if it could be introduced as an agri- 
cultural and commercial article of the country. 

The fibre of a stinging nettle, Girardinia heterophylla, the 
leaves of which resemble those of grape vines, is extracted and used 
by the Nepalese, and also by the tribes of the Nilgiri hills. This 
nettle grows to a height of about ten feet in the Nepal terai. 



210 



HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE 



CHAPTER XLVIIL 

COTTON (GOSSYPIUM). 

[Area of cotton in India. History of attempts at cotton improvement ; on what the 
value of cotton depends ; stems may be used for extraction of fibre ; oil ; 
trade ; acreage ; mixture ; yield ; times for sowing and picking ; conditions 
of profitableness of the crop; cost of cultivation; silk-cotton or simul ; 
Akanda.] 

The area devoted to cotton in India is about twenty million 
acres. It varies considerably from year to year, but the general 
tendency is upward. The actual outturn of cotton (estimated) is 
about fotir million bales of 400 pounds each. The average annual 
yield of cotton per acre seems to be from 80 to 100 pounds of clean 
cotton per acre. 

Bengal is a very minor factor in this production. There is 
only about 60,000 acres devoted to the crop ; and of this half the 
area is in the Saran district. It is sown partly before and partly 
after the rainy season. In Eastern Bengal and Assam the crop is 
also only a minor one, and the production is almost entirely in 
the hills surrounding the various Assam valleys. 

The other important cotton-producing provinces have approxi- 
mate areas as follows : 



AREA. 



Bombay Presidency 

Central Provinces 

Berar 

Madras Presidency 

Punjab ... 

United Provinces 

Burma 

Hyderabad (Deccan) 

Ajmere Merwara 

Central India 

Raj pu tana 



6,000,000 acres. 

I,200,0a0 

3,000,000 

1,500,000 

1,500,000 

1,250,000 

2<'0,000 

3,400,000 

40,000 

1,000,000 

450,000 



A very great many efforts have been made during the past 
seventy years to improve the character of Indian cottons. Exotic 
cottons have been introduced again and again. American planters 
have been brought to grow them. But the general effect of such 
introductions has been small. In a few cases some of the varieties 
have established themselves over small areas, but except in the 
case of Cambodia cotton in South .India in the past few years, 
none have become a very large factor in the produce of the coun- 
try. On the whole it may be said that the character of Indian 
cotton is practically the same as it was fifty years ago. So much 
is this the case that the authorities have largely abandoned the 
idea of importing varieties from abroad, and Mr. Gammie, the pres- 
ent Imperial Cotton Specialist, has summarised recently the posi- 
tion as follows : 

" 1. That long season cottons are quite unsuitable for early 
season cotton districts and vice versa, and that slight differences 



COTTON. 241 

% 

of climate cause large differences in the quality of cotton 
produced. 

2. That varieties characteristic of the black cotton soil fall 
away in some inherent quality if transferred to another class 
of soil 

3. That exotic varieties thrive better in red or sandy soils, 
and have thus only been introduced permanently with varying 
degrees of success outside the regular superior Indian areas, e.g., 
Dharwar American, Bourbon in Coimbatore, North Gujarat, and 
the Konkan ; Egyptian in Sind ; upland Georgian in the Punjab 
and United Provinces. 

4. That inferior varieties are in many tracts ousting superior 
chiefly on account of their greater hardiness and more certain 
yield of a large outturn of cotton, and that the so-called deteriora- 
tion of Indian cotton is really due to this, plus the fraudulent prac- 
tice of middlemen. 

5. Good varieties from the first, when isolated, are superior to 
the remaining constituents of the general mixture too often found 
growing in the fields, e.g., Malvensis in the Central Provinces and 
Khandesh and Karunganie in Madras. 

6. That in rare cases, provided conditions are similar, a su- 
perior variety of the same type can be substituted with advantage, 
for instance, Broach cotton for Kumpta in the Dharwar District 
of Bombay. 

7. That cross-fertilisation inter se has in many cases un- 
doubtedly strengthened the stock, but the same method employed 
between different varieties has, up to the present, yielded nothing 
of permanent advantage 

8. In conclusion, the cotton plant is so influenced by its 
environment that in some provinces, for instance, in Gujarat, 
varieties which appear to be absolutely the same from a botanical 
point of view have, nevertheless, individual characteristics which 
allow them to be grown in perfection and with profit only in the 
tracts where they have become the actual children of the soil. 

These statements should give pause to attempts to make 
general statements as to the desirability of large scale introduction 
of cottons from outside, or even large transferences of one type of 
cotton from one place to another in India without very careful 
experiment beforehand. 

Points of cotton The points which determine the value of a 
particular cotton plant to a cultivator are several, and some of 
these are often ignored by outsiders, who look to the character and 
value of the marketed cotton only. Thus it is necessary to take 
into account 

(1) The length of the period of growth of the cotton. This 
may vary from 3J months to seven months. 

(2) The hardiness of the plant, and its liability to attack 
by insect pests. 

* M, HA 16 



242 HtANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

(3) The yield of seed cotton per acre. 

(4) The ginning percentage, or the percentage of lint to 
seed in the crop. The lint may be as low as 25 per cent, of the 
crop with some of the fine varieties, or may reach over 50 per 
cent, in some of the very poor cottons of the Assam hills. When 
marketed the factors which determine the value of cotton 
are: 

(1) the length of staple. This may vary from over 1 
inches with the best Sea-island cotton to half an inch with very 
poor Iiidian varieties ; 

(2) the colours; 

(3) the glossiness of the fibre ; 

(4) the strength of the fibre. 

As a rule the introduction of a new variety is so difficult and 
so doubtful that it would be well for a would-be cotton grower to 
begin with the variety already grown in the district in which he 
desires to plant this crop, and only after thoroughly understanding 
the local difficulties of soil, climate and other conditions, to make 
large developments in new directions. 

Points of cotton. The relative value of cotton fibre depends 
mainly on the length, strength and fineness of the staple. The 
Sea-island cotton has its staple 1/65 inches long, the Egyptian 
1-50 inches, the Bourbon or ordinary American 1-10 inches, and the 
ordinary Indian '65 to 1*3 inches, the latter figure applying to the 
best varieties of Gossypium arboreum, and the former to the 
Gossypium herbaceum. The strength of the Egyptian cotton is 
very great, but the Sambalpur and Bhagalpur tree-cotton that 
have been lately collected and examined are also very strong. 

Steins and seed. The stems of the plant, if rotted, yield a good 
fibre. Up to the time of the American War of Independence 
cotton-seed was regarded as a useless article. In India, even now 
it is thrown away in many places as a useless article ; but in many 
places also the seed is given to cattle, especially to milch-cows, 
to increase the flow of their milk. In the district of Patna, 
cotton-seed is used for making a high-class sweet-meat. In the 
Nagpur Experimental Farm, two seers of cotton-seed per diem are 
given to each bullock in place of oil-cake, "and one seer a day may 
be given to Bengal cattle. Smooth seeds yield a larger proportion 
of oil than fuzzy seeds. The extraction of oil has been, until 
very recently, practically unknown in India, but a considerable 
development of mills extracting cotton-seed oil has taken place 
in the Bombay Presidency and in the Berars in the last two 
or three years. Decorticated cotton-cake is considered one 
of the best oil-cakes both for feeding cattle and for fertilizing the 
soil. It is as good as the best Bengal and United Provinces castor- 
cake as a manure, containing 6 to 7 per cent, of Nitrogen against 
6 to 8 per cent, which is the proportion of Nitrogen in the best 
castor-cake. The ash of cotton-cake is particularly rich in 



COTTON. 243 

phosphoric acid, potash and lime, the constituents of the ash 
being shown below : 

Potash ... ... ... ... 35-4 

Phosphoric acid ... ... ... ... 30*0 

Lime ... ... ... ... 4*4 

Magnesia ... ... ... ... 15*1 

Soda ... ... ... ... 0*8 

Sulphuric Acid ... ... ... ... 3*2 

Oxide of Iron and alumina ,.. ... n 

Chlorine ... ... ... ... 0*5 

Carbonic acid ... ... ... ... 3*5 

Sand, &c. ... ... ... ... 6'0 

100-0 

The most economical way of applying cotton-cake and other 
edible oil-cakes to the soil, is to use them as cattle-food, on the land 
intended to be enriched, the cattle being hurdled in here and fed 
in moveable troughs. 

For every pound of lint there are two to three pounds of seed. 
One hundred pounds of American cotton-seed yield about two 
gallons of oil, forty-eight pounds of oil-cake and six pounds refuse 
oil fit for soap-making. With the ordinary ghani about twelve 
to fourteen per cent, of oil can be obtained from the seed but 
the seed should be very free from adhering cotton. Ginning 
establishments in the midst of cotton-growing districts may 
well be employed in extracting oil and supplying oil-cake. 
This is an industry for which there is a fine opening in India. 
It is the income from seed that makes all the difference in 
America between a profitable and an unprofitable cotton crop. 
The magnitude of this opening in a new direction can be inferred 
from the fact that India produces about ten million cwt. of 
cleaned cotton. This represents about twenty to thirty million 
cwt. of seed. Allowing half this quantity as required for seed and 
feeding of bullocks in localities where the seed is used for feeding 
bullocks, nearly 700,000 tons would be still available for 
extraction of oil for export and obtaining of oil-cake for cattle- 
food and manure. 100 to 2001bs. of clean cotton and 300 to 
6001bs. of seed may be taken as the yield per acre. The most 
important cotton-growing districts in Bengal are : Saran, 
Chittagong Hill Tracts, Cuttack, Lohardaga, Darbhanga, Midna- 
pore, and Manbhum. The best cotton lands in Bengal are the 
Chittagong Hill Tracts, Chota Nagpur, Midnapore, Cuttack and 
Jalpaiguri. 

Trade. In the struggle between America and India in the 
European cotton market, which has gone on for 100 years, 
rica has gradually supplanted India. In 1 818, the export > 



244 



HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 



Indian cotton to England amounted to as much as 86,555,0001bs. 
or 247,300 bales (a bale of cotton^3| cwt.). In 1821, only 20,000 
bales were exported. In 1841, however, the export rose to 278,000 
bales. In 1848, the export fell to 49,000 bales. During the 
American Civil War, India again became the chief source of 
supply of cotton to the English market. At the end of the war, 
American cotton regained its footing in the English market. The 
objections to the Indian cotton in the English market were, (1} 
imperfection of picking, cleaning and packing, (2) adulteration, 
(3) the higher price which has to be paid for the inferior hand- 
ginned cotton, compared with the price paid for the superior 
machine-ginned American cotton, and (4) the shorter-staple of 
the Indian cotton. The improvement in cotton cultivation in 
recent years is mainly due to the establishment of numerous 
cotton mills in India chiefly in Bombay, Ahmedabad, Cawnpore 
and Nagpur. 

Mixtures. Arahar, castor, til, maize and juar are often grown 
along with cotton. Groundnut can be grown with cotton. Where 
cotton is grown with other crops the yield of lint is 50 to SOibs. 
per acre ; where it is grown by itself, the yield is 751bs. to 1501bs. 
per acre, though the best varieties, such as the Nausari cotton and 
the Buri kapas, often yield as much as 4001bs. lint per acre and 
more. Grown by itself the common Gossypium herbaceum varieties 
are sown about nine inches apart ; while the more bushy Burhi 
variety is grown 2| to 3ft. apart. The tree-cottons are grown 
8ft. apart. The last are grown by transplanting seedlings at the- 
commencement of the monsoon, the seedlings being grown in 
prepared seedbeds beforehand. From sowing or transplanting 
to picking of bolls, two hoeings and one nipping of buds are 
desirable. By nipping fresh branches are thrown out, and the 
plants bear more fruits. 

The time for sowing and picking cotton in the principal cotton 
growing districts of Bengal are given below : 



Solving time. 

Midnapore ... May and June. 
Cuttack ... (1) June to July. 

(2) February. 

(3) October and November. 
Manbhum ... (1) May to July. 

(2) September to December. 
Lohardaga ... (1) June. 

* (2) October. 

Durbhanga ... (1) May and June. 

(2) October. 

Saran ... June and July. 

Chittagong Hill (1) April and May. 
Tracts. 

(2) January and February. 



Harvest time. 

September to March 
(1) October and November 
() May and June. 
(3) February to June. 

(1) October to December. 

(2) February to April. 

(1) November to January. 

(2) April and May. 

(1) March and April. 

(2) August and September. 
April and May. 

(1) November and De- 

cember. 

(2) August and September. 



According to the above table, March and August are the only 
months when cotton is not sown and July the only month when 



COTTON. 



245 



picking is not done. For Egyptian cotton, the late Mr. Tata recom- 
mended October and November as the best months for sowing. 
But we have found that the plants require more irrigation in this 
case, and when they are in full bearing the rainy season comes in 
and spoils the bulbs. June is the best month for sowing and July 
for transplanting in Bengal. The cotton sown after August is called 
*' late cotton." Though no manure is used, as a rule for cotton, 
the use of bonemeal (2 mds.), or lime (3 mds.), and salt (40 Ibs. 
per acre) has sometimes proved beneficial. 

Seed Five to ten Ibs. of seed is used per acre. For tree- 
cottons which may be sown in seed-bed and afterwards transplant- 
ed, 1 Ib. of seed is a sufficient allowance for an acre. Between 
the rows of cotton ' groundnut can be grown. The first picked 
and clean bolls should be reserved for seed. 

Conditions of success. On an average, to every 30 parts of 
cotton (i.e., lint and seed) there are 20 parts of seed and 10 parts 
of lint, and the feeding value of 200 Ibs. of cotton-seed obtained 
per acre is at least Rs. 5. The profitableness or otherwise of the 
crop therefore depends mainly on three considerations : (1) the 
staple chosen, (2) the use of the cotton gin, (3) the utilisation of 
the seed as cattle food. One variety would yield 300 to 400 Ibs. 
of lint per acre, whereas another will yield only 75 Ibs. On the 
whole the Burhi cotton seems to be the best to grow in Bengal, 
though persistent attempts should be made to grow the superior 
tree-cottons. 

The cost of cultivation per acre for the cotton crop in Bengal 
may be calculated as below : 

Rs. A. P. 

Four ploughings with laddering before sowing ... 300 

Manuring with cowdung and lime (150 maunds of dung 

and 4 niaunds of lime per acre) 
Watering before sowing (unless there is rain) 
Pickling of seed (5 seers) 
(Rubbing with cowdung, lime ami ashes) 
Cost of sowing behind plough . . 
Watering after sowing (not needed if sowing done in 

June or July) 

Hoeing and thinning or patching 
Nipping of tips 
ticking (1-lOth of produce) 
Rent 
Cleaning or ginning (l annas per 10 Ibs ) 

26 8 

The price of cotton lint varies much. One hundred Ibs. of 
cotton at 4 as. a Ib. can fetch only Rs. 25, and unless a heavy 
yielding variety of cotton is chosen, cotton-growing does not 
pay. Hand-ginning usually costs a good deal more than the 
amount calculated above, but where the industry is well estab- 
lished poor women do actually work at these low wages. 



7 


8 





2 


8 








8 





1 








i 
2 


8 





2 








1 








, 2 








. 3 








1 









246 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

Silk cotton or simul (Bombax Malabaricum) is a tree. The 
fibre of this is almost worthless for textile purposes, and it is used 
chiefly as padding for pillows. Blankets and other articles are 
being now made out of this fibre, and the demand for it is increas- 
ing. Akanda or Mdddr (Calotropis gigantea) pod fibre many be 
looked upon in the same light. But the fibre obtained from the 
stems of this plant is one of the strongest fibres known. The stems 
are cut into sticks about eighteen inches long dried in the sun for 
two or three days, battered afterwards, and then the outer bark 
peeled off and the fibre picked out with teeth and fingers from the 
inner bark, and then twisted into rope for cordage or fishing net. 
No water is used either for retting or for helping in the twisting 
of the rope. 



CHAPTER XLIX. 

ALOE FIBRES. 

VARIOUS plants of the natural order Liliaceae and its allied 
order Amaryllidacese, yield leaves rich in very strong and beauti- 
ful fibres. To the former belong Yuccas and Sansievierias and to 
the latter Agaves, all being popularly called aloes. 

Yuccas. The fibre of Yucca gloriosa or Adam's needle, which 
we have as a hedge at Sibpore, is fine, silky and strong, but the 
length is so short that this plant cannot complete with Sansievierias > 
Agaves, or Pineapple plants. The fibre is not unlike pineapple 
fibre but the average length is less than two feet. 

Sansievierias. These produce the celebrated bow-string hemp* 
This fibre being silky white, is superior to Agave fibre, but the 
length is seldom over three feet while agaves often reach six 
feet. The wild Sansievieria (Sansieveria Zeylanicd) of Faridpur 
and other districts of B. Bengal (called CTihuncJimuJchi 
or moorva) produces as good fibre as the more famous foreign 
varieties, but the length of the fibre is very short, not more 
than two feet. Of all the Sansievierias, the Sansievieria 
trifasciata which is to be commonly seen in Calcutta gardens, 
grows best, and is on the whole, the best variety to choose. 
The length which the leaves attain is generally three to four 
feet while the length of the other kinds is generally under three 
feet. This does not require so much watering or manuring as the 
other varieties. The strength of the Sansievieria fibre compared 
to soqae other fibres can be judged from the following figures : 

Line made of cocoa-nut fibfe (coir) 224 Ibs. 

Hibiscus cannabinus fibre 290 

,, Sansievieria zeylanica 316 

Gosaypium herbaceum 346 

Agave lurida ... 362 

Crotolaria jncea ... 407 

Calotropis gigantea ... 552 ,,, 



ALOE FIBRES. 247 

Agaves. Though coarser than Sansievieria fibre, Agave fibre 
being stronger, and being produced by plants which seem to grow 
better on poorer soils, is likely to respond better to cultivation 
operations. All the plants were originally American, and imported 
into India probably within the last four hundred years. They 
have, however, spread all over the country, and can be found 
growing in a semi- wild condition in most parts of India. One 
or other of them has been used as a fence along railway lines 
in almost every province. The classification of the agaves is 
difficult, and the botanical names by which they have been 
commonly known have been frequently changed. A very thorough 
examination of the whole subject and a reclassification of the 
Indian agaves was - recently made by Drummond (see Agricul- 
tural Ledger). All of them, with the exception of Agave 
sisalana or Sisal-hemp, yield about the same amount of fibre, 
namely, two to three per cent. This last, however, yields much 
more, or from four to five per cent, as a rule. This plant has 
few or no spines on the sides of the leaves, and hence is much 
more easy to work with than most of the other kinds. 

The general rules to be observed in planting all Agaves are : 
(1) Plant about 400 suckers to the acre, eight feet between rows 
and six feet between plant to plant. With a smooth edged variety 
somewhat closer planting than this is advisable. (2) Whenever 
a leaf assumes the horizontal position cut it out for extraction 
of fibre. (3) The cutting out of leaves generally commences 
from the fourth year after planting and it goes on until the 
plant flowers which it does in seven to fifteen years. Flowers or 
bulbils often appear in the fourth or fifth year after planting, in 
the plants of India. (4) All suckers should be removed from 
the bases of plants as soon as they appear as they weaken the main 
plant. They may be planted in a separate nursery to be after- 
wards transplanted into the field. (5) Planting of suckers between 
the older plants for renewing the plantation should commence 
as soon as leaves begin to be cut, that the plantation may be 
always in full bearing. (6) Each plant after four or five 
years should be divested only of twenty-five to thirty-five leaves 
per annum, a quantity which will yield lib. to IJlb. of clean fibre* 
About one-third of a ton of fibre per annum is all that can be 
expected per acre. (8) Kich, moist good soils should not be chosen 
for growing Agaves, as such soils are only wasted on this crop. 
The growth is luxuriant, but the fibre on such soils is weak, 
and if there is water-logging, the plants perish. At the same 
time it must not be supposed that poor rocky hilly soil is 
suitable. A good light or medium land will answer well, but 
cultivation between the plants is essential, and great care altogether 
in the early days of the plantation. A full account of the whole 
question of planting Sisal-hemp will be found in Mann and 
Hunter's 'Sisal '-hemp planting in the Indian tea districts, 
published by the Indian Tea Association, Calcutta. 



248 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE, 

The Mauritius hemp. The fibre plant grown in Mauritius is 
the green or foetid aloe (Furcrea gigantea). This plant is now cul- 
tivated in many parts of Ceylon and India. In German East 
Africa also the Mauritius hemp and hemp-extracting machine 
have been introduced. It grows on fairly poor land. Gravelly 
soil produces the best fibre. Moist and rich lands are not 
suitable, * and that probably accounts for this variety producing 
such a small proportion of fibre in East Bengal and Assam, 
where 2 to 2J per cent, were obtained against 4 and 4 per cent, 
obtained in Sambalpur. In fact the plant flourishes best where 
ordinary vegetation does not cover the land. The leaves are 
four to seven feet long, four to six inches broad at the middle, 
bright green in colour, and either armed- with small black 
marginal spines or altogether smooth. The pulp, when the 
leaves are crushed, gives off a strong pungent odour. Planting 
of bulbils should be done in the open in the rainy season of 
just before the season. The plant reaching maturity, a flower- 
stalk fifteen to twenty feet in height grows out from its centre. 
The blossoms form into bulbils that develop into young plants 
which are planted in nurseries six inches apart and transplanted 
when one or two years old. Thus it goes on propagating itself. 
The Mauritius hemp has the tendency to send up flower-stalks, 
at least in Lower Bengal, from the fourth year and a plantation 
of this aloe would not last for more than twelve years. 

All these fibres can be extracted from the leaves either by ret- 
ting or by scutching the leaves. Though the former is usually 
adopted by the people for their own use, yet it weakens the fibre 
seriously and there is no export market whatever for such retted 
fibre. Apart from this the only method is by scutching, the sim- 
plest form of the machine used being a wheel fitted with a number 
of metal plates or beaters on the circumference, which on rotation 
beat against the leaf and scrape away the pulp leaving the fibre 
behind. The simplest of such machines is the so-called 'Raspador' 
used in Yucatan, and worked by hand. From this have developed 
machines of all sizes up to the huge automatic apparatus capable 
of dealing with 100,000 leaves per day, and with the produce 
of say six hundred acres of sisal-hemp or other agave plant. 



CHAPTER L. 
OTHER FIBRE CROPS. 

Abroma augusta (Ulat-kambal). This is a perennial bush or 
small tree, the stems of which yield a valuable silky fibre, The 
stems can be cut three times in the year and as the retting and 
extraction of fibre can be dona as in the case of jute, it is very 
desirable to introduce this crop rather than rhea as a high class 



OTHER FIBRE CROPS. 249 

perennial fibre crop. It flowers in the rainy season and the seed 
ripens in the cold season. Roxburgh says that the fibre of 
ulat-kambal is one-tenth part* stronger than sunn and much 
more durable in water. 

Hibiscus abelmoschus (kasturi), &c. Nearly all malvaceous 
plants yield useful fibres. The common Hibiscus esculentus or 
Ladies' finger, the Roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa), the Hibiscus muta- 
bilis (Sthal-padma), and Hibiscus ficulneus (Ban-dhenras or Belun- 
pdt), have been all used for their valuable fibre. Indeed the last 
named plant is preferred to jute by the cultivators of Murshid- 
abad for their own domestic use. In an experiment conducted 
by the Agri-Horticultural Society of India, Hibiscus abelmcschus 
yielded the best crop of all the fibre-yielding plants experimented 
with and the yield came to SOOlbs. of fibre per acre, with a Death 
and Ellwood's machine, while a larger yield (12| maunds per acre) 
was obtained by the ordinary process of retting. The seed also 
has a commercial value and it is known to perfumery makers 
in Europe by the name of grains d'ambrette. The seed when 
ground gives the smell of musk and amber and it is used for 
making sachet-powder and perfumery. 

Of other fibre-yielding plants the following may be mention- 
ed : 

Ananas sativa. 

Musa paradisaica (plantain stalks). 

Musa textilis (Manila hemp). 

Pandanus utilissimus (Keyaphul). 

Sesbania segiptiaca (Jainti). 

Seshania aculeata (Dhaincha). 

Passiflora sp. (Jhumkalata). 

Bauhinia vahlii. 

Anona reticulata (bullock's heart). 

Sida rhomboidea (Berela). 

Saccharum ciliare (munj). 

Ischoemum angustifolium (the Bhabur or Babui grass which is 
largely used for paper-making). 

The " Quaxima " fibre of Rio-de-Janeiro being considered 
one of the coming rivals of jute may be also mentioned here. The 
fibre is long and strong and it can resist the action of water. The 
plant grows in low-lands near the sea. Of fine linen-like fibres 
may be mentioned the " Ibira" fibre of Paraguay. Pineapple, 
"Sida and Babui grass growing under the shade of trees, they can 
occupy land which ordinary crops cannot. 



250 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

CHAPTER LI. 

PINEAPPLE (ANANAS SATIVA). 

PINEAPPLE plants should be guarded against excessive heat 
and cold ; that is why they are often grown under shade. They 
do best on low, rich land that will not overflow, and near water. 
High land if irrigable and shaded is suitable. In Florida they are 
planted eighteen to twenty-four inches apart in pineries, i.e., under 
mdcMns. As many as 20,000 plants (planted 2 ft. X 1 ft. apart) 
are crammed into an acre in the Bahamas islands, whence the fruits 
are largely exported to the United States. The ground chosen 
in these islands is more or less rocky. The owners of land share 
with the cultivators in the produce. The proprietors of land 
make advances in cash or provisions to the cultivating labourers, 
until the reaping of a crop, and the cultivator is precluded under 
an agreement from selling his share to any other than the land- 
lord, the price paid for being Is. to Is. Qd. per dozen according to 
the date of production. Eighteen months to two years must 
elapse between tbe planting and the reaping of the first crop, each 
plant producing one fruit. Sometimes a plant bears in twelve to 
fifteen months. When ripe, the pineapples are cut and carried on 
the heads of men and women to the beach nearest the plantation 
whence they are shipped in large American vessels. The London 
Market is principally supplied by the Azores and Canary Islands. 
But the best pineapples are grown in English hot-houses. It i& 
a mistake to suppose that the best fruits grow in shade. Pineapple 
does grow in shade, but it grows better in the open especially in 
the lower districts of Bengal where the climate is moist and 
equable. In districts where the soil is dry, or rocky and harsh, it 
grows better in shade. The Mauritius variety which we have in 
the Sibpur Farm is a superior variety. The Sylhet and Assam 
pineapples generally, are also famous. 

Manure. Cotton-seed-meal and tobacco-dust at planting have 
been found to be the best preparatory manures for pineapples. A 
month before fruiting bone-dust gives the best result. 

Pineapple fibre has been sold at one hundred and fifty dollars 
per ton in London and New York, but there is no regular market for 
it. Ten leaves weigh about a pound and 22,000 leaves a ton. A 
ton of leaves yields 50 to 60 Ibs. of clean fibre obtained by scraping 
and beating, steeping, washing and finally exposing the fibre to 
the sun. The steeping, washing and exposing to the sun are 
repeated until the fibre is white. 

If the fruits can be preserved or even the juice of the fruit, 
by our cultivators, pineapple-growing would prove highly remu- 
nerative. The following recipe is recommended for preserving the 
juice of all soft fruits : Press out the juice of the fresh fruit, sepa- 
rating it completely from seeds and skin. Then submit the juice 
to heat of 180 F. (never higher than 190 F. nor lower than 176 F.) 



PLANTAINS. 251 

for half an hour. Next filter it through a conical flannel bag, to- 
extract the coagulated albumen and other flocculent matter. Then 
put the juice in bottles. Place these in a trough of water lip to 
their necks and bring the water to a temperature of 200 F.(keeping 
.it always below the boiling temperature, i.e., 212 F.) The bottles 
are to be kept at this temperature only for a quarter of an hour, 
and then corked and sealed at once before cooling. The corks 
used should remain in the hot water in which the bottles are placed. 
Another method of preserving juices of fruits will be described 
in the chapter on " Planting of Trees/' 

A word of caution is necessary to persons desirous of introduc- 
ing such new fibres as rhea, pineapple and agave. The fibres of 
these like the fibres of jute are not of uniform fineness. Only 
10 or 15 per cent, of the pine fibre is of silky and delicate fineness, 
which would fetch 30 or 35 per ton in the London market. It 
should be also remembered with regard to pineapple fibre, that 
about one hVndred and fifty years ago it formed an important 
article of export from Chittagong and the Straits Settlements and 
it was woven into dhoties and sheetings in the Dutch possessions. 
Cotton has gradually ousted it from the field. With improved 
machinery capable of spinning even yarns out of short staples, 
pineapple fibre may become a favourite textile material again, but 
its re-introduction must be looked upon only in the light of a 
hopeful experiment. 



CHAPTER LII. 

PLANTAINS (MusA PARADISAIC A). 

Banana jelly. Plantains being largely grown in Bengal, a 
simple method of preserving this fruit, successfully carried out 
at Sibpur, may be described with advantage. Peel the ripe fruits,, 
cut them into slices, add lib. of water to each pound of slices and 
boil for about one hour until the mixture is soft enough to be 
strained through calico. After straining add one pound of sugar 
and sufficient citric or tartaric acid, or simply* lime juice, to give 
the mixture an agreeable acid taste. If citric or tartaric acid is 
used it should be dissolved in water before it is added to the fruit 
pulp. The boiling should then be repeated for at least another 
hour. Finally the jelly is bottled up when fairly hot, the bottles, 
used being fumigated inside with a taper of burning sulphur intro- 
duced immediately before the warm jelly is put in. A piece of 
parchment paper is put on the top of the jelly before the cork or 
stopper is put on, after the jeilv has become quite cool. From 
the refuse stuff after the straining of the pulp through calica 
banana-meal may be prepared. 

Banana-meal* The banana plantation is looked upon in some 
parts of Africa as an important source of food-supply. Banana- 



252 



HANDBOOK OP AGRICULTURE. 



meal is a highly nutritious and light food. The Negroes prepare 
banana-meal in a primitive fashion. They dry the fruits and 
pound them in a mortar. Placed in jars or sacks, away from damp, 
it remains good for a long time. But a quick-drying apparatus 
should be used if the meal-industry is to be introduced into a damp 
country like Bengal. The fruits are stripped of skin and cut 
in rounds and placed on a perfectly cleaned and heat-disinfected 
trays in the desiccator. When perfectly dry the chips are ground 
and passed through a sieve. In a climate like that of Lower Ben- 
gal", it is best to make banana-meal out of the refuse obtained after 
the extraction of jelly. The refuse pulp is pressed (say with a 
cheese-press), dried in the sun, then powdered with the dhenki or 
janta. The meal so made keeps good. The produce of meal is 
20 to 25 per cent, of the weight of fruits used. 151bs. of fruits 
will give 31bs. of meal. It contains 1*4 per cent, of Nitrogen or 
-9'01 per cent, of albuminoids. For making meal it is preferable 
to use fruits which are not altogether ripe and which contains more 
starch than ripe fruits. The fruits on analysis give the following 
average results : 



Unripe bananas. Eipe bananas. 



Water 

Starch 

Grape-sugar 

Cane-Sugar 

Fat 

Albuminoids 

Crude fibre .. 

Tannin 

Ash 

Others matters 



70-92 
12-06 
0-08 
1*34 
021 
304 
0-36 
6-53 
1-04 
4-62 



6778 

Trace 

2047 

050 

0'58 

472 

0-17 

034 

095 

0-79 



Mr. R. Swaminathan, analysing a sample of banana-meal 
from Kanch-kala sent to him from Madras to Cambridge gives the 
following figures comparing the feeding value of banana-meal 
with those of wheat, rice and potato : 



Banana*meal. Wheat. Rice. Potato. 



Water 

Proteid 

Fat 

Carbohydrates 

Fibre 

Ash 



13-70 
3'78 
075 

77-17 
1-50 
3'10 

lOO'O 



11-3 
7-3 
1 

77-6 
1-6 
10 



lOO'O 100-0 




11-0 
7'4 
07 

74-0 
2-5 
3'5 

100-0 



Varieties. The principal varieties that are ordinarily culti- 
vated in Bengal, or have been introduced with success, are : 
Martdmdn, Chdmpd, Chini-champa, Kdnthdli, Sdbri, Anupan, 
Rim-rambhd, Kanai-bashi, *Agnishwar, Bombay, Kabuli, Singa- 
puri and Penang. Kdnch-kald, which is ordinarily used as a 



PLANTAINS. 263. 

table- vegetable, is also eaten in the ripe state by the poorer classes. 
Martamdn and Champa are the ordinary good varieties. Banana 
jelly is best made out of the Martamdn variety. 

Soil. Clay-loam soil not subject to water-logging and situated 
close to a tank, ditch, jhil, or canal, should be chosen. The land 
should be ploughed up and while a crop of Aus paddy is growing, 
the suckers should be planted 8 cubits apart in the beginning of 
the rainy season. The pit should be made a cubit deep and 
manured with cowdung. The intervals should be ploughed 
and cross-ploughed once a year, and silt from the tank, canal, or 
jhil, applied in April as manure round the base of each clump. In 
one year the tree should be in bearing. When the bunch of fruits 
has formed the portion of the inflorescence hanging on, should be 
cut away and a little chunam lime should be smeared at the cica- 
trix that the nourishment which would have been wasted on it 
might go to develop the plantains. The tree should be cut down 
from the base as soon as a bunch has ripened. No clump should 
have more than three suckers at its base when the older tree fruits. 
All suckers should be taken out after a year, i.e., in the next May, 
June or July and planted elsewhere, if necessary. It is intended 
to keep up the old plantain garden for a second, third or a fourth 
year, instead of planting suckers at the old spots or letting the 
suckers already there to grow undisturbed, the planting should 
be done on the second year between the two original lines and in 
subsequent years also in new spots, that the whole of the soil of 
the garden may be made use of by the plantain crop before it is 
abandoned for a new garden. This is not the system prevalent at 
Baidyabati, where the old clumps are kept up by manuring, "but 
it is the system adopted in Dacca. The suckers planted should 
not be too large, and they should be divested of all expanded leaves 
as they are planted. The only operation needed after the suckers 
have been planted is the heaping up of earth round each, if the 
Dacca system is followed. The leaves should not be cut away ex- 
cept from trees that are cut down after they have borne 
fruits. 300 to 600 bunches of plantains yielding about Ks. 150, 
may be expected per acre per annum from a plantation of bananas. 
The coarser kinds being more prolific than the finer kind, the 
variety makes little difference to the profit under ordinary 
treatment. 

The Jcdnthdli variety produces the best fibre. The leaf 
sheaths may be passed through a sugarcane mill with smooth rollers 
then combed on both sides with a brass comb, which will bring 
out most of the cellular substance. The blunt edge of a sickle 
may be afterwards used for getting more of the cellular sub- 
stance out. The bundles of fibre are then to be washed in water 
and afterwards boiled with ashes or soft-soap and then rinsed well 
in plain water, wrung and exposed in thin layers to dry in shade* 
They are then to be exposed to dew for three successive nights^ 



254 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

.and in day time the drying should proceed in the shade. A simple 
machine consisting of a large curved knife worked by a spring 
handle over a block of wood is now in use in many parts of south- 
ern India for cleaning the fibre out of leaf-sheaths. Plantain fibre 
is not in demand but should be worth at least twice as much as 

jute. 

Manila hemp is the produce of a plant (Musa textilis) allied 
to banana. It is very much superior to the fibre obtained from 
kdnthdli plantain trees. 



CHAPTEE LIII. 
POTATO (SOLANUM TUBEROSUM). 

1 Rotation ; Two crops of potatoes in succession in the same year ; Potatoes grown 
year after year in the same land ; Dhaincha crop an excellent preparation ; 
Liming after ploughing in dhaincha ; Soils suitable for the crop ; Cultivation 
for growing potatoes on the garden system and the field system ; Irrigation ; 
Manuring ; Lifting ; Use of the Hunter hoe for lifting potatoes ; Preservation 
of seed ; Varieties ; Cost.] 

Rotation. Potato is usually grown in Bengal after Aus paddy, 
or iute, or maize, or, in tracts of country where the potato is the 
principal crop, it often forms the only crop of the year. In the 
district of Baghelkand, in parts of Bihar, and in the Khasi hills, 
two crops of potatoes are taken from the same land in one year. 
There is a common notion both in this country and in England 
that potatoes do well grown on the same land year after year. The 
texture of the soil is no doubt rendered fitter and fitter for the potato 
crop by the cultivation operations done for this crop, but insect 
and fungus-pests predominating prove the injuriousness of this 
svstem after a few years. It is best to grow a crop of dhaincha 
{Sesbania aculeata) or swnn-hemp, between June and August 
and plough the crop in, in August or September. This green 
manuring adds considerably to the produce of potatoes. Lime 
and fresh ashes together, say fifteen maunds per acre, should be 
used if green manuring is done, to hasten the decomposition 
'of the manure and prevent insect pests. Even when the dhaincha 
crop is not ploughed in but sold off, the land is enriched by the 
crop residue and the root-nodules. 

SoU. The soil should be a sandy loam, of a fine texture, but 

not a heavy clay loam. Such soil, if it contains a good deal of 
humus matter, which makes it retentive of moisture, is best suited 
for the crop. Shallow, sandy or stony soils and heavy clay soils, 
are not suitable for potatoes. Sandy soil improved by the admix- 
ture of jhil or pond silt answers very well. Stagnant water is very 
injurious to this crop and if sowing is done early, in September or 
October, the land chosen must be high and capable of easy draining. 
The site selected must also be close to water, as irrigation is very 
necessary for this crop in most districts. 



POTATO. 255 

Cultivation, cardan system. Deep cultivation and thorough 
pulverizing of the soil are essential. Two ploughings and two 
cross-ploughings with an improved plough followed by one grub- 
bing with a five-tined grubber and one cross-grubbing should be 
done as soon as the rainy season is over, the three series of opera- 
tions being conducted at intervals of one week between the 
operations. Then should follow one or two harrowings for collect- 
ing weeds. It may be necessary to hand-pick the sunn or dhaincha 
stalks before commencing ploughing, if either of these crops is 
grown as a preparation for the potato crop. The highest manu- 
rial value is attained by these preparatory crops, when they are 
in flower, and they should be cut then, and if from August to 
September the stalks do not get sufficiently decomposed by 
submergence under water, ploughing and liming should be done 
after hand-picking. The cost of picking, however, will be more 
than realized by the sale of the dry stalks afterwards for fuel 
or as stakes for the pea or pan crop. The harrowing should be 
followed by a bakharing or laddering to bring the land to a 
level seed-bed. The land should then be prepared for irrigation 
before sowing is done, as the making of irrigation channels after 
sowing uproots a number of seed tubers. The field is first divided 
from its head, or main channel for irrigation, to its bottom, into 
a number of long strips six feet wide, separated by water-channels 
about a foot wide, leading from the main channel at the head 
of the field to the bottom. The strip of land six feet wide should 
then^be divided into ridges and furrows eighteen inches from one an- 
other. Along these ridges six feet long and eighteen inches wide, 
potatoes should be planted in double rows four inches apart early, 
say in September or early in October, four inches from one another 
and four inches deep. This is a very costly method of preparing the 
land for potato cultivation and one which can be practised by 
cultivators only on a small scale with the object of bringing the 
crop early to market. Early sowing is however very risky. Heavy 
rain taking place after sowing may do a great deal of damage by 
actually rotting the seed or disturbing the irrigation arrangements 
and washing down the ridges. Early sowing also very often 
results in insects destroying a portion of the crop. But in local- 
ities such as parts of Burdwan, Birbhum and Sonthal Perganas, 
where rain water sinks into the soil or flows out freely, early 
sowing is advantageous. Pickling of seed in a mixture con- 
sisting of sulphate of copper, ashes and castor-cake and the use 
of lime or ashes to rot the dhaincha or sunn, are great preventives 
against insects. 

Field-system. For cultivating potatoes on a large scale, the 
ridging plough should follow the bakhar or the levelling board, 
beam, or ladder. The field should be as long as possible and the 
ridges should be at right angles to the main irrigation channel. 
The ridges made by the ridging plough will not be absolutely 



256 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

straight, but if trained bullocks are employed they will be 
sufficiently straight for the purpose of the agriculturist, and they 
should be about twenty-four inches apart. The sowing in this case 
should be done after all fear of late rain is over, say about the 20th 
to the 31st of October or even, later. The sowing should be done in 
this case not along the ridges but along the furrows. A man should 
make a straight channel four inches to five inches deep with a 
narrow spade or Planet Jr. hoe simply by running the implement 
along each furrow and between two adjacent ridges. Another man 
should put in two rows of pickled potatoes six inches apart both 
ways, and cover up the channel as he goes on, following the man 
who is making the channel, while a third man goes on putting 
manure along the covered channels only. Instead of spreading 
the manure all over the field this will be found a more economical 
way of using the manure. Planting deep in between ridges also 
saves the cost of irrigation. The two earthings are to follow 
the manuring. The practice of applying the manure in two 
doses, at the time of the two earthings, does not seem to be 
justified, unless highly soluble manures, such as saltpetre are 
used. Castor-cake, bone-meal and cowdung, which are ordinarily 
recommended for use, are not highly soluble, and applying 
them in one dose after planting the seed, is advisable. In fact, 
cowdung should be applied at an early period of prepara- 
tion of soil, and bone-meal should be first converted into 
superphosphate by the addition of sulphuric acid before apply- 
ing it to the trenches after planting seed. Bone-meal being 
a comparatively insoluble manure does not have much effect 
on a short-lived crop like the potato. Potatoes are benefited 
by high manuring and one of the following manures is recom- 
mended for use : 

Maunds 
per acre. 

Ka. Ks. 

(1) Bone-superphosphate ... 6 ) applied immediately j 

with castor-cake (powdered)... 18 ) after planting. 

(2) Gotten cowdung ...... 400 | *V$* 

with ashes or lime ... 15 ) applied after I 15 1" 

and Castor-cake ... ... 15 \ planting. 

(3) Eotten cowdung ... ... 600 ) applied before 

with bone-superphosphate ... 6 ) planting. 

<4) Castor-cake ...... ' 




Irrigation. Whether the plants all come out within a fort- 
night or not, first watering should take place within ten days to 
a fortnight after planting unless a good shower of rain makes 
this watering superfluous. The tardy sprouts will come up after 
the watering. If seed-potatoes are kept in-doors under a heap of 
moist straw or over damp sand for a week or ten days before plant- 
ing, the sprouting will be quicker and more even after planting. 



POTATO. 257 

Instead of flooding the field or running the water along the chan- 
nels in which the seed-potatoes are imbedded, it is best to run the 
water along channels between the rows of potatoes, or to distri- 
bute the water from the channel by means of an irrigation spoon 
or thali. This prevents caking of the soil. But if the water is 
run along the channels in which the potatoes are imbedded, hoe- 
ing should be done within a week after the irrigation to allow the 
sprouts to come up without resistance. The first earthing up with 
kodalis or by splitting the ridges with a double mould-board plough 
should take place when the plants are six to nine inches high. 
Then should follow two waterings at the interval of a fortnight 
and then the second earthing. If the soil looks dry, irrigation 
should take place before and after the two earthings at shorter 
intervals, say, once in ten days. Three to six irrigations are 
necessary, according to the nature of the locality and of the 
season. But in some northern and eastern districts of Bengal, 
potatoes can be grown without irrigation, which is a great 
advantage. 

Lifting,-Potatoes are not ready for lifting until the leaves 
and haulms have withered completely and the land has become 
quite dry. Another way of lifting potatoes is doing it in two 
instalments, the first lifting of large sized tubers being done when 
the plants are still green by carefully digging under each plant 
with the KJmrpi and putting the earth back, that growth may con- 
tinue. This is a costlier operation, but it pays where early 
potatoes sell at a high price. Potatoes require about three 
months to mature from the time of sowing, and February and 
March are the ordinary months for harvesting, though by sowing 
early in September or October lifting can be done in December 
and January. Lifting is best done with the Hunter hoe unless 
a potato-digging plough or a potato-digger is used. Perhaps a 
slightly larger proportion of tubers gets cut when the Hunter hoe 
is iftsed than when spades are used. 100 maunds to 150 maunds 
peil acre is a fair outturn, though as much as 300 maunds per 
acre are sometimes obtained. 

Preservation of seeds It is difficult to preserve the seed of 
the superior and large sized hill potatoes in the plains, and one of 
the chief obstacles to the spread of the cultivation of the Naini Tal 
potatoes has been the high price that has to be paid for the import- 
ed seed at the time of sowing. If each cultivator could store his 
own Naini Tal potato-seed there would be no occasion to grow 
the inferior Deshi varieties. The following plan may be tried. 
In a dark but well ventilated room erect shelves on which sand 
is to be spread and the potatoes spread one deep on the shelves, 
covered by the sand. Ten or twelve shelves may be arranged 
one above another on a machan. All rotten potatoes must be 
weeded out and the seed-godown examined constantly for 
this purpose. Small sized potatoes keep better than large ones. 
M, HA 17 



258 



HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 



Only the high and dry districts of Bengal are suitable for 
preservation of seed. 

Steeping of potatoes in a dilute solution of sulphuric acid 
(2%) for 10 hours and then wiping them dry and storing on sand 
has been recommended for preserving potatoes meant for food; 
but this experiment has failed both at Sibpur and at Berhampore, 
and the method is probably inapplicable for this climate. New 
and vigorous races of potatoes are established in temperate coun- 
tries by propagating the plants from seed. Seed-tubers from 
hill-stations or from a temperate climate give better crops than 
those grown from tubers raised in the plains. As it is difficult to 
preserve the seed of these superior varieties in the plains until 
the next sowing season, and as the exchange of seed with a hill 
country or a temperate climate has been found beneficial, the 
attempt to preserve seed may not be attended with good results. 
The cost of seed is the great obstacle to extensive cultivation 
of high-class potatoes. In October, when sowing is done in Lower 
Bengal, seed costs Rs. 5 or Rs. 6 a maund, and an acre of 
potatoes costs about Rs. 75 in seed alone. As very small sized 
potatoes do not give good result, a large weight of seed is 
required. So far all attempts to preserve seed-potatoes (except 
of the poor country varieties) has only partially succeeded in 
Lower Bengal. 

Varieties. The JPatna variety of potatoes with red skin, 
though wanting in flavour, gives a better yield than the Nairn Tal 
variety, and the seed of this variety can be preserved in the plains 
like the seed of the Deshi variety, and the popularising of the 
Patna potatoes would be an improvement. A Madras variety is also 
very prolific, but it does not keep so well as the Patna or the Deshi. 

Cost The expense per acre may be calculated thus : 

Two ploughings and 2 cross-ploughings with improved Rs. 
plough 

Two grubbings 

Picking dhaincka stalks or 2 harrow ings 

Twenty tnaunds of lime 

Spreading do. 

Laddering or bakharing 

Ridging with double mould-board plough 

Seed 10 maunds 

Pickling seed 

Planting seed 

Castor-cake (30 maunds) 

Spreading 

Two earthings 

Four irrigations 



Harvesting 
Rent 



Total Rs, ... 170 
Outturn 150 maunds at Rs. ... 225 

Net profit about Rs 50. 



Rs. 


A. 


p. 


3 








1 


8 





1 


8 





12 








1 


8 








12 








12 





50 








3 


8 





6 








60 








2 


8 





6 








12 








6 








3 








.70 








225 









BEINJALS. 259 

CHAPTER LIV. 

BRINJAL (SOLANUM MELONGENA). 

Soils suitable ; Excess of organic matter or nitrogenous manure injurious ; Lime, 
phosphates and potash useful manures ; Varieties ; Seed-bed ; Transplanting ; 
Cultivation : Kuli begun ; Cost and outturn.] 

NEXT to potatoes beguns or brinjals (called also egg-fruits 
and aubergines) are the most highly prized vegetable of Bengal. 

Soil High well, drained sandy loam or garden soil not 
too rich in organic matter, suits this crop best. In clay soil the fruits 
of begun and patal become small though sweeter. An excess of 
organic, or nitrogenous manure, present in the soil, gives rise to 
the development of leaves at the expense of flower. At the Sibpur 
farm it has been noticed that unmanured plots give better result 
than plots manured Avith saltpetre and cowdung. Being very 
subject to diseases and attack of insects, it should not be grown 
in the same locality oftener than once in five or six years, and 
the land should be kept well drained, as stagnant water gives rise 
to fungoid diseases. The free use of lime and ashes at the time of 
sowing and transplanting is also recommended and thorough and 
protracted cultivation before planting. 

Varieties. There are two distinct varieties of brinjals. 
Muktakeshi, Makra, Chhatare and Elokeshi belong to the ordinary 
class, but kuli begun, growing in bunches and bearing fruits for a 
much longer period, is botanicallya different variety and is some- 
times designated Solatium longum. 

Seed. When the biggest first fruits are ripe and golden yellow 
in colour they are removed from the plants and cut right through 
the middle. In this state they are kept in a heap for two days. 
The seeds are then easily detached, washed clean in water and 
dried in the sun. The sowing is done in a seed-bed for which a 
cool and shady place should be chosen. The soil is well pulverised 
with the kodali and by hand, and well rotted manure mixed 
with lime and ashes applied. This should be done in January or 
February while the sowing should be deferred till the end of March 
or still later, the usual time of sowing the seed in Lower Bengal 
being early in May. Thorough weathering of the soil should take 
place before sowing is done. After a shower of rain or watering 
of the bed by sprinkling, seed is sown evenly but pretty thick, 
and the hand is lightly rubbed over the bed to give the seed a 
covering. Every evening except when there is rain, the seed-bed 
should have a light sprinkling of water (say with a water-can 
furnished with a rose). If the seed-bed is in shade, well protected 
from the sun, no other protection will be required, otherwise the 
bed should be covered with palm or plantain leaves until the 
germination takes place in three or four days. Light watering 
should be continued every evening after germination also. If a 



260 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

heavy shower of rain takes place the seed-bed should be 
carefully drained of standing water. If insect pests appear, ashes 
and lime should be dusted on the plants. 

Transplanting. The field where the seedlings are transplanted 
should be also prepared very early in the season, i.e., in 
December or January. This 'should be done with kodali or with 
an improved plough and grubber. The grubber should be passed 
afterwards once a month until planting. By the middle of May 
the land should be levelled and got ready for planting. Drains 
are made all round the field and a few r water channels running 
through the field, as in the garden cultivation of potatoes. Then 
julis or furrows are made thirty-six inches apart and the beyun 
seedlings planted along the middle of the julis after a heavy shower 
of rain. If planting is done early in the season, i.e., in April or May, 
transplanting the seedling may be done on the level plot thirty-six 
inches apart instead of in furrows and the water channels are made 
afterwards. Mustard-cake and ashes and lime should be applied 
finely powdered under each plant at the time of transplanting. 
Cowdung and castor-cake encourage the growth of vegetation at the 
expense of flowering and fruiting and six maimds of mustard-cake 
and three maunds of ashes and one maund of lime are a sufficient 
application for one acre. In a fortnight or ten days the kodali 
should be passed between the rows of plants, thus levelling the 
field. Blanks noticed should be filled up at this time. After 
another fortnight the kodali should be passed once more between 
the rows of plants converting the furrows into ridges. Irrigation 
rnay or may not be necessary according to the character of the 
season and the time of planting. If planting is done after a heavy 
shower of rain, in June, irrigation will not be generally necessary 
till November, but if it is clone in April or May, irrigation will be 
necessary at least once to save the crop from drought. From 
November to March irrigate once a month. The fruits will begin 
to bear in August. From August to October one more earthing 
is required when the land is somewhat dry. 

Kuli begun seed is sown in September and October ; the 
seedlings are transplanted in October and November, and they 
bear from February to June. From May to August the ordinary 
brinjal plants may be made to bear fruits if trees that show 
.signs of decay by February or March are pruned, manured with 
mustard-cake and ashes and watered. Fresh shootg will be 
thrown out, and fruits of a somewhat inferior quality will be borne. 

Dhashalaga and Tulshimara are the commonest fungoid 
diseases of brinjal which the cultivators attribute to not cutting 
the tap-root at the time of transplanting and also to the roots 
getting cut at the time of earthing. These are fictitious causes. 
Root-cutting has something to do, no doubt, with the vigour of 
plants and cutting of the roots when there is water-logging may 



FATAL. 



261 



indirectly cause spores of fungi to settle in the tissues of the plants* 
but the exciting cause of the diseases is the presence of the spores 
in the seed of a bacillus (Bacillus solanacearum). Water-logging 
helps the spread of the bacillus. Every plant affected with a 
fungoid disease must be uprooted and burnt. The s^ed used 
should be pickled, and the same locality alwavs avoided for 
growing this crop from year to year. 

The cost per acre might be estimated as below : 



Rs. A. r. 



January Ploughing and cross-ploughing, with laddering 
February drubbing and cross-grubbing, with harrowing 
June- Making irrigation channels 

Making furrows 3 ft. apart 

Transplanting seedlings 3 ft apart 

^oat of manure 

Manuring seedlings 

First earthing 
July Second earthing 
August One hand-weeding 
October Hoeing 
December to February Three -rigations followed by 

hoeing 

Gathering fruits 
Rent 



g 1 


8 





g 1 








.. 1 








4 








. 3 








. 10 








5 








4 








4 








5 








. 4 








y 

. 19 


8 





. 9 








3 









74 1 



The outturn of 150 maunds of brinjals at a pice a seer comes 
to about Rs. 90, and the net profit to only about Rs. 15 per acre. 



CHAPTER LV. 
Fatal (TRICHOSANTHES DIOICA). 

NEXT to potatoes and brinjals, this is the favourite 
table-vegetable in use in Bengal. The leaves and tender shoots 
of the creeper (called Paltd) are eaten cooked, specially by con- 
valescents. Sandy loam is best suited for this crop as for most 
cucurbitaceous vegetables. It grows well on river sides, even on 
the sides of rivers containing an excess of commbn salt, provided 
the soil is not heavy. The male and female vines are distinct, and 
as propagation takes place from cuttings, patal cultivators usually 
cheat others desiring to cultivate this crop, by supplying them 
with cuttings from male plants only. About five per cent, of male 
plants are quite sufficient for the purpose of fertilization. 

Four or five ploughings and harro wings at the end of the rainy, 
season, followed by making of holes in parallel lines six feet apart, 
and planting of adventitious roots and joints cut up into lengths 
of about three inches each, two in each hole, are the first opera- 
tions required. The holes are covered with straw and watered 
every other day to hasten sprouting, except when there are 



262 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

seasonable showers. Fatal being a dioecious plant, the cuttings 
should be mainly chosen from female vines, though the presence 
of a few male vines is also necessary. When the plants have 
all come up, i.e., about November, one hoeing is giving, and 
then raised beds are made, as water-logging is highly injurious to 
the creepers. Each bed should have one row of plants, and the 
bed is made sloping towards the channels. The earth dug up in 
making the channels is utilised in raising the beds. If the field is 
very long, one or two water channels are made across the field also, 
intersecting the other channels at right angles. One irrigation 
done in February hastens the fruiting in March. Fruiting goes 
on from March to September, after which a light ploughing, followed 
by weeding in October, and one or two irrigations in February 
and March, will keep the crop for a second year. Usually no man- 
nring is done for patal, silt being depended upon. Ashes and lime 
or bonedust would be of benefit if the crop is kept on a second year 
on high land. 

Cost 

Us. A . p. 
4 plougliings ... .. .300 



Planting, including making of beds 

Spading or earthing (15 men) 

Watering 

2 weedtngs (12 men each time) 

Cost of cuttings or roots 

Kent 



600 
300 
4 8 O 
3 
400 
300 



Total ... 26 8 



Outturn. 100 maunds at 1 pice a seer comes to about Es. 60 
and at 4 annas a seer, Es. 1,000.' 



CHAPTEE LVL 

CHILLIES (CAPSICUM FRUTESCENS). 

LIKE brinjals, chillies are very much subject to fungoid 
diseases, but they are not so subject to the attack of insects. 
Dalbhanga rog and Kutelaga are the commonest fungoid diseases. 
When these overtake a crop it is not feasible to stop them. In 
fact, chillie cultivation has to be given up for two years successively 
in a locality affected with either of these diseases before it can 
be taken up again. The Bordeaux mixture and invigorating 
manures have been used in vain. Besides the ordinary Capsicum 
frutescens of Bengal may be mentioned the Capsicum, annuum or 
Nepal chillies, and the Capsicum minimum or Dhani lanka which are 
varieties more highly prized for their greater pungency. Cayenne 
pepper is made out of Capsicum annuum. Some bright coloured 
varieties of Capsicum annuum have, however, no pungency at all, 
and these are preferred for the feeding of birds as they are supposed 
to heighten the colour of their feathersi 



CHILLIES. 



263 



Soil. Sandy loam and newly-formed alluvium on the banks 
of rivers do well for this crop, but dry rocky soils containing plenty 
of lime produce the best crops if they are sufficiently loamy. 
The finest crops of chillies are grown in Bogra, Backergunge, 
Chaibasa, Patna and in parts of Gujarat. 

otation This crop generally follows one of the pulses or oil- 
seed crops, and it is sometimes grown after potatoes. It is fol- 
lowed by aus paddy. , 

Cultivation - The land is to be prepared exactly as in the case of 
brinjals. The seed is sown in May or June in a nursery situated in 
shade as in the case of brinjals. When six or seven inches high in the 
seed-bed, the seedlings are transplanted after a good shower of rain 
27 x 18 inches apart. The time of transplanting is July and August. 
When the plants have established themselves in raised beds 
well protected from stagnant water, their roots should be partially 
exposed to light and air by removing the earth from their bottom. 
A month after this, mustard-cake at the rate of six maunds per 
acre is put at the bottom of each plant and the plant earthed up 
at the same time. The field should be kept clean of weeds, two 
hand-weedings and two wheel-hoeings being recommended. One or 
two irrigations may be required after November and a hoeing 
after each irrigation. 

Harvesting. December to February is the proper harvest season 
for ripe chillies, though chillies are also plucked green in October 
and November and sent fresh to market. Plucking should be 
done about four times, five men being required per acre each time. 
The ripe chillies are spread out in the sun for about a fortnight. 
Night dew does them no harm and they may be left out day and 
night for a fortnight, but if rain is feared they must be brought 
in doors. 

Yield The yield per acre is 6 to 15 mds., each maund selling 
from Rs. 4 to Rs. 7. Unless a tract is known to be particularly 
adapted for chillies, it is risky growing this crop for profit. The 
cost per acre comes uniformly to about Rs. 50, while the outturn 
may vary from Rs. 25 to Rs. 100. 

The cost may be estimated as below : 



Ploughing and making of beds 

Transplanting 

2 Earthings 

2 Hand-hoeings 

2 Wheel-hoeings 

1 Irrigation 

1 Hocking with shades after irr gation 

Plucking and drying 

Rent 



Total R. ... 42 



Es. 


A. 


p. 


12 








2 


8 





6 








6 








I 


8 





2 


8 





3 


8 





5 








3 









264 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

CHAPTER LVII. 

ENGLISH VEGETABLES. 

[Origin ; Soaking of seed in water and delicate seed in camphor water ; Prepara- 
tion of seed-bed ; Treatment of seed-bed ; Watering ; Transplanting ; Which 
vegetables need not be transplanted ; Distances apart ; Quantity of 
seed required ; Protection of seedlings after transplanting ; Previous 
preparation of land thorough and protracted ; Soils suitable for different 
vegetables ; Suitable manures ; Special mixed manure for vegetables ; 
Irrigation, with hoeing or channel irrigation ; ^hence seed to be obtained ; 
Germinating power, how tested ; Sowing in seed-bed also in regular 
lines ; Growing of English vegetaJDles in the hot weather in trenches ; 
Site for market-gardening.] 

NEXT to potatoes, palvals, and brinjals, the English vege- 
tables, viz., cabbages, cauliflowers, tomatoes, knol-kohl, turnips 
and beet, have come to be regarded as the important cold weather 
table- vegetables, specially in Bengal towns. 

Origin. What are known in India as English vegetables did 
not all originally come from England. The original home of 
cabbage, carrot, celery, parsnip, salsify, sea-kale and turnip is 
believed to be England. But beans came originally from Persia 
and India ; beet, broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, parsley, and peas 
came originally from Southern Europe or Asia ; Brussels sprouts 
as the name implies, originally came from Belgium ; kohl-rabi 
from Germany ; leek from Switzerland ; endive from the East 
Indian Islands ; Jerusalem artichoke from Brazil ; potatoes from 
Peru ; tomatoes from South America ; onions from Africa ; 
radish and rhubarb from China, and spinach from Northern 
Asia, 

Climate. Taking into consideration the land of their origin 
we should infer that for this climate cabbage, carrot, celery, 
parsnip, salsify, sea-kale, turnip, Brussels sprouts, kohl-rabi, leek, 
and spinach are not suitable. But experience shows that nearly 
all the vegetables mentioned above can be 'successfully grown even 
in the climate of Lower Bengal specially in the cold weather, though 
it is necessary to import the seeds of those varieties, which are 
natives of the temperate climate, from such climate. Cabbage 
and cauliflower seeds from Patna, onion seed from Poona and 
Verawal, and carrot seed from any part of Bihar and also from 
Verawal (Junagadh State) give good results. 

Cultivation. The following points may be particularly noted 
in connection with the growing of English vegetables : * 

(1) Any seed with a tough coat should be soaked in cool water 
(at a temperature of about 60 F.) before sowing. The seed should 
be sown when still damp, and it should be covered with fine leaf- 
mould one to three inches deep according to the size and strength 
of the seed. Pea and bean seeds, for instance, should be sown three 
inches deep, while only a very light covering of less than a quarter 
inch of loam or mould should be put on celery or lettuce or 



ENGLISH VEGETABLES. 265 

Cabbage seed. Delicate seed should be soaked in camphor water, 
the bottles in which they are kept soaked stoppered up for an hour, 
and the seed sown immediately afterwards. The percentage of 
germination is higher from seed thus treated. 

(2) The seed is to be sown in a raised and well pulverised seed- 
bed manured with well-rotted manure and leaf -mould, the soil 
consisting of friable sandy loam, clean and without grit or stones. 
There should be a cover of mats on the seed-bed, or sowing should 
be done in boxes in a verandah. Seed should be sown towards 
the close of the rainy reason. After scattering the seed on the 
seed-bed a light cover of leaf-mould should be put on it and on 
that ashes are to be sprinkled. Ashes should be sprinkled on the 
seedlings also, as soon as they appear. 

(3) After germination, the covering mats are to be taken off 
every evening if no rainfail is apprehended at night, and the cover 
put on again at 8 or 9 A.M. Some sunlight is needed for seedlings, 
or else they grow up into sickly plants. 

(4) Water is to be gently sprinkled on the seedlings as occa- 
sion requires, say, once in two or three days if the soil looks dry. 

(5) When there are four to six leaves on the seedlings they 
are ready for transplanting. 

(6) Carrots, turnips, beet, mangel, tomatoes, salsify, spinach, 
onions, peas and beans, are not transplanted from seed-beds, but 
sown where they are meant to grow. Where plants grow too 
thickly they are thinned out. Beet and tomatoes may be sown in 
seed-beds and afterwards transplanted. 

(7) Before transplanting the seed-bed is to be well soaked 
with water. 

(8) Transplanting should take place in straight lines and at 
such distances apart that water channels may be made easily. 

(9) In transplanting, a dull or showery day should be chosen, 
if possible, or else the plants thoroughly watered, or transplanting 
done after a heavy shower of rain and the soil round them 
mulched if mulching materials are available. The plants are 
to be set a little deeper in the soil than, they were in the seed- 
bed, and the soil round the roots should be made firm with the 
hand without, however, bruising the necks of the plants. The 
plants should never be pulled up from the seed-beds, but always 
lifted up with a little soil adhering to the rootlets. Watering the 
.seed-beds before lifting, helps this. Watering the transplanted 
seedlings should be done two or three times a week early in the 
morning or late in the afternoon, until they are well established. 
If mulching is done, saving in watering and hoeing will be effected. 

(10) In transplanting, the spacing should be regulated by 
two considerations 1st, that two adjacent plants when fully 
grown up may not touch each other, and 2ndly, that there may 
be sufficient space for water channels between two rows of plants. 
The plants may be thus set closer in lines than in rows. When 
sowing is done in the open as in the case of radish, turnips, carrots. 



266 



HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 



onions, etc., the plants should be thinned out, the strongest plants 
being left, wherever possible, proper regard being had to regularity 
of the lines and the evenness of distance among the plants. 

(11) Transplanted into deep and wide trenches, English vege- 
tables can be grown in the plains, up to June. The irrigation 
should be done in the trenches, the plants being set on two ridges 
at the bottom of the trench. The trenches should be made 2 or 2J 
feet deep and about the same in width at the bottom, where two 
rows of plants should be planted with a water channel in the 
middle. 

(12) Dwarf beans, both broad and kidney, should be sown 
two feet apart and five inches in the lines from plant to plant. Tall 
beans should be sown 3 ft. x 5 inches apart ; peas 4 ft. x 2 
inches ; and beet 18 inches x 9 inches apart. Broccoli and 
cabbages should be planted 2 ft. X 2| ft. apart ; Brussels sprouts 
(which are suited to poor soils and do well even without manuring) 
2 feet x 1| feet apart ; carrots 10 inches x 6 inches apart ; celery 
and leek 6 inches apart in nursery-beds before they are trans- 
planted for the second time into trenches which should be 1 foot 
deep and 1 ft. wide, the trenches being 4 ft. apart. Endive 
salad should be planted 1 ft. x 1| feet apart; onion 15 inches 
X 9 inches apart ; garlic 1 foot 6 inches apart ; parsley 1 foot x 1 
foot apart ; kohl-rabi 18 inches x 15 inches apart ; parsnips 15 
inches x 12 inches apart ; and turnips 1 foot X 6 inches apart. 

(13) Quantity of seed required per acre 

2 ounces. 

4 ounces. 
1 maund. 
8 ounces. 
8 ounces. 
I ounce. 
1 ounce. 

3 ounces. 
6 ounces. 
2i seers. 

1 maund. 

15 seeis to 4 mds. 
(if for fodder), 

5 maunds. 

(14) Castor leaf, arum leaf, bur leaf, plantain leaf or leaf 
sheath, or some such article must be used in the day-time for pro- 
tecting the seedling against the sun for a week after transplant- 
ing. 

(15) Thorough previous preparation of land where the seed- 
lings are transplanted is necessary to avoid insect pests. Also 
may be used of some of the following things mustard cake, 
ashes, lime, salt, white arsenic, asafcetida and aloes, as an 
insecticidal mixture at the tinje of transplanting. A handful of 
the mixture can be mixed up with the soil where each seedling 
is planted. 



Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and parsley 

Cabbages ... 

Onion (sets) 

Onions and carrots (seeds) 

Kadish ... 

Leek and celery 

Endive 

Lettuce 

Turnips and parsnips 

Beet 

Peas and beans 

Country peas 

Jerusalem artichoke (bulbs) 



ENGLISH VEGETABLES. 267 

(16) Cabbages, kohl-rabi or knol-kohl, broad beans.and tomatoes 
do well on the heavier classes of loam, and broccoli, cauliflower, 
kidney beans, turnips, onions, garlic, beet, radishes and carrots, on 
the lighter classes. 

(17) Cabbages are specially benefited by saltpetre at 10 mds. 
per acre ; cauliflower by mustard-cake and lime or ashes at 10 mds. 
and 5 mds., respectively per .acre ; but turnips and knol-kohl are 
especially benefited by bone-superphosphate at 6 mds. per acre 
accompanied by heavy manuring with farm-yard manure. Car- 
rots and radishes prefer cowdung at 200 mds. per acre, and toma- 
toes are specially benefited by cowdung ashes. 

(18) The following mixture has been found particularly good 
for growing English vegetables : Fowl manure, two baskets ; 
powdered cowdung cake, three baskets ; ashes, one basket ; 
gypsum, one basket. Moisten the whole with fresh urine at the 
time of application of the mixture, and apply one handful at the 
bottom of each plant, after it is fairly well established in the field. 
Vegetable-marrows, beans, maize and potatoes are specially 
benefited by this manure. 

(19) irrigation is most essential, and whenever the land 
looks dry, irrigation must be resorted to followed each time by one 
wheel-hoeing, or channel irrigation effected, in which hoeing is 
not necessary so often. Four to eight irrigations are needed accord- 
ing to the climate and the character of the soil. The land should 
be divided into ridges along the natural slope, in making the irri- 
gation channels which will involve loosening of the bases of the 
plants and earthing them up. 

(20) ft is best to buy reliable English seeds or seeds from 
Mussoorie or some other hill station grown by a well-established 
and reliable firm, instead of depending on plains seeds, though they 
may be had cheaper. Patna cabbage and cauliflower seeds and 
Poona onion seeds, however, give very good results. 

(21) Cabbage and turnip seeds, like cucumber and melon 
seeds, retain their germinating power for several years when kept 
protected from insects in a dark receptacle , while seeds of peas, 
beans, carrots, parsnips and onions are of no use after a year. The 
germinating power of ^eeds may be tested by placing them between 
two pieces of damp flannel kept continuously moist for a week. 

(22) It is better to sow the seeds of all crops (not merely Eng- 
lish vegetables) the seedlings of which are raised in seed-beds, 
i.e., cotton, tobacco, cabbages, lettuce, tomatoes, etc., in narrow 
shallow drills in the bed, than to sow them broadcast. Young 
plants grown in drills are much easier to lift and transplant and 
to keep clean from weeds, and, as a rule, they are hardier. In 
sowing small-sized seeds in seed-beds one quarter to half an inch 
of soil above the seed is enough. If the drills are covered in with 
a little very fine and thoroughly rotten manure, germination takes 
place quickly, and in transplanting some of the manure will be 
mixed up with the ball of earth surrounding the roots. In sowing 



268 



HANDBOOK OP AGRICULTURE. 



seeds of onion, carrots, radishes and turnips in open ground, have 
the soil thoroughly tilled, pulverised, cleaned from weeds and 
levelled previous to sowing. These seeds should be sown in drills 
two feet apart, so that a bullock-hoe may be used between the drills. 





(a) FIG, 65. ~ JERUSALEM AKTICHOKE. (l>) 
(a) BULBS : (b) STEM WITH LEAVES. 

(23) Near large towns vegetable-gardening (called also mar- 
ket-gardening) that is to say, the growing of potatoes, brinjals, 
palval, cabbages, cauliflower, turnips, beet, knol-kohl, carrots, 
asparagus, artichoke, Jerusalem artichoke, palam say, denc/o sag 
(in the rainy season), chewing sugarcane and English peas and beans, 
pays well. Ample provision for manuring and irrigation is neces- 
sary. Dairying and goat-farming ought also to prove highly 
remunerative if carried on within a short distance from towns. 
Vegetable-gardening and dairying may well be combined, as any 
vegetables that are not readily sold can be given to cattle. Goat- 
farming may also go well with vegetable-farming if proper arrange- 
ments for hurdling the goats in can be made. . 



CHAPTER LVIII. 

CARROT, RADISH AND SWEET POTATOES. 

CARROT. The English root-crop which has a special value 
as a nourishing famine-food and fodder is the carrot. Up-country 
carrot or gdjrd is not such a nourishing and palatable food as 
the European carrot, and of all the carrots experimented with in this 
country, the Red Mediterranean variety grown at the Cawnpore 
Experimental Farm seems to be the best. The Yellow Mediterranean 
carrot is a heavier yielder, but it is more suited as a cattle food. 



CARROT, RADISH AND SWEET POTATOES. 269 

The yield of the White Mediterranean carrot is almost equal to, 
or even higher than that of country carrot, but the roots are hard, 
coarse and insipid. Without manure the country variety gives 
a much larger yield than any of the European varieties. 
Carrots should if possible, not be directly manured. The previous 
crop should be highly manured, but the carrot itself grown 
without manure. There should be plenty of lime in the soil where 
carrot is grown. 

The proper time for sowing carrot seed in the plains is between 
the 15th September to 15th October, and if famine or scarcity is 
feared, sowing is done still earlier in the United Provinces. It 
is best to sow in drills made along the natural inclination of the 
land, and ridge the drills after the plants have appeared and then 
to thin out the plants. Two hundred maunds of well rotten dung 
should be used before sowing, or better still before sowing the 
previous aus paddy crop. Eight to twelve ounces per acre is the 
quantity of seed which should be used. The yield comes to 200 
to 500 maunds per acre, if good loose soil near a village site is chosen 
and if the soil is deeply cultivated, well pulverised, weeded two 
or three times and irrigated five or six times. The seed should 
be mixed up with wood-ashes at the time of sowing and unless 
the soil is quite moist at the time, water should be poured in the 
drills immediately after sowing. 

The following analysis of carrots give an idea of the high feed- 
ing value of this vegetable : 

White Medtn. Eed Medtn. English, 

carrots. carrots. carrots. 

Water ... ... 84'57 84-43 87'30 

Soluble albuminoids ... 35 -48 ) 

Insoluble do. ... -17 30 f >bb 

Sugar and starch . 8'98 7'98 8'10 

Crude fibre ... 2'37 3'70 ) 

Woody fibre .. 2'19 1^0 \ 6 ' Z() 

Soluble mineral matters 1'09 '99 I ^ 

Insoluble mineral matters *28 *32 \ 



100 100 100 

TOTAL Nitiogen ... '175 -230 -200 

So important is the carrot regarded in the United Provinces 
as a stay during famine, that numerous applications were received 
by District Collectors during the famine of 1896-97 for carrot seed, 
when the local supply was exhausted. Telegraphic order was 
sent off at once to Messrs. Carter & Co. for seed, and they sent 
out over 100 tons of seed. It was not before December and 
January, however, that the seed was in the hands of cultivators, 
and the imported carrot either failed to germinate or produced only 
very meagre crops. 

Radish- This also belongs to the cabbage family and although 
it is a cold weather crop, the sag can be grown nearly all the year 



270 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE, 

round. It and the China cabbage are therefore grown in the 
Bengal Jails as vegetables for prisoners. In the hills the radish 
can be grown all the year round. The large and small pale 
pink radish is liked by Indians, while the small red and round 
radish is grown to a small extent for European consumers. There 
are special localities in Midnapur, Birbhum, etc., where very huge 
radishes are grown, but the seeds of these tried in the Sibptir 
Farm gave the ordinary small sized radishes that we see sold in 
the Calcutta bazaar. There are certain light soils rich in mineral 
matters that are therefore specially suitable for the crop. 
The sowing time is June to December, though the best time 
is September, and the crop takes only two months maturing, 
which is a great advantage. The seed should be sown in 
lines nine inches apart and seedlings should be thinned out so 
as to have them three inches apart in the lines. Thorough and 
deep cultivation and watering once in ten or twelve days are 
essential. As there is no very great demand for this crop, except 
in large towns, and as it is not such a nourishing crop as the 
carrot, any extension in the ' cultivation of this crop cannot be 
recommended, but as a fast growing vegetable, it can be grown 
by cultivators for domestic use on homestead lands. 

Sweet-potatoes. Sweet potatoes, Batatus edulis, are also a 
common root-crop of the country, and principal stay in famine 
times. This crop is propagated from stem cuttings of the vine which 
are planted on ridges in August or on the flat in October in moist 
localities six inches apart, the ridges or lines being made one 
foot apart. No further cultivation is necessary and the crop 
lifted in January or February is 100 to 300 maunds per acre. Sank 
dlu is also called sweet-potato. It is a leguminous crop, the seed 
of which is sown in June or Jiily. The creepers are relished by 
cattle. The roots are eaten raw and not cooked as Batatus edulis 
roots are. The roots are lifted in February. 



CHAPTER LIX. 

TUKMERIC AND GlNGER. 

THERE are certain crops that grow well in the shade. Of these 
tUrineric, ginger, arrowroot, pine-apple, pipul, groundnut, rhea, 
Sida rhomboidea and babui grass may be mentioned prominently. 
As it is desirable to have trees at the outskirts of farm land, which 
would otherwise remain uncultivated and harbour insect-pests, 
such land could be utilized with great advantage by growing tur- 
meric and ginger. Trees (such as mangoes, jack, lichies, etc.) 
are themselves benefited, if the land underneath is kept cultivated. 
This is one of the principal preventive methods that should be 
employed in combating orchard-pests. Stiff clay soils are not 



TUKMBRIC AND GINGER. 271 

suitable for any root-crops, but any soil which is not too stony, 
gritty or gravelly will do for growing these crops. The cultivation 
for both the crops is similar. In putting down virgin soil under trees 
for the first time under turmeric or ginger, it is desirable to plough up 
the land in October or November, i.e., after the rainy season is 
over and when the land is still in a fit state for ploughing. One 
ploughing and cross-ploughing with an improved plough, or a 
thorough spade-cultivation, followed by laddering should be a 
sufficient coldweather preparation for these crops. In April, i.e., 
after the first shower of rain in the hot weather, another 
ploughing followed by cross-ploughing and laddering, will render 
the land fit for planting the bulbs of ginger or turmeric. These 
should be planted nine inches apart in the line, and the lines 
should be 25 or 30 inches apart. About two maunds of turmeric 
or ginger-seed bulbs are required for planting an acre. When 
the plants have come up and before the approach of the 
regular rainy seasoa. ridging or earthing should be done along 
the natural inclination of the land, to exclude water from the 
immediate surroundings of the plants. Water should be let out 
from the field whenever there is any accumulation, or such 
land should be chosen, whence water flows out naturally and 
readily. Manuring is scarcely ever done for ginger or turmeric, but a 
rnaund of ashes and three maunds of oil-cake per acre would benefit 
both these and the trees under which they are grown. If manuring 
of crops grown under trees is neglected, the trees themselves are in- 
jured in the long run by growing crops under them. The manuring 
should be done soon after planting and before earthing. Two 
hand-weedings or hoeings are necessary, one in July and the other 
in September. The root should be lifted up after the leaves have 
completely withered, i.e., in December and January. The small 
outgrowths of the roots should be set apart for seed. These before 
being planted in April or May should be kept under a heap of damp 
straw to hasten sprouting. The rest of the turmeric roots should 
be cut into two, if too fat, dried and then boiled in water mixed 
up with cowdung. As soon as the water begins to boil, the boiler 
is to be taken down from the fire, and the turmeric taken out after- 
wards and spread out in the sun. The heap should be stirred and 
turned two or three times a day, and when the smaller sections have 
become quite dry, they should be separated out, leaving the fatter 
sections to dry for another day or two. Daily, in the evening, 
the turmeric exposed to the sun should be rubbed, the rubbing mak- 
ing the roots clean and smooth. 

The outturn of turmeric (boiled and dried) comes to about 16 
maunds per acre, and of fresh ginger about 50 maunds, but as much 
as 50 and 150 maunds per acre respectively have been sometimes 
obtained. The ginger can be sold off in the undried state at about 
Rs, 4 per maund, while dry turmeric may fetch as much as 
Bs. 5 per maund. The cost of cultivation comes to about Rs. 50 
per acre, in either case. 



272 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

CHAPTER- LX. 

SUGARCANE (SACCHARUM OFFICINARUM). 

[Sugar-yielding plants ; Superior foreign varieties of sugarcane ; Superior indigen- 
ous varieties ; Yield of gar ; Acreage ; State of the Indian sugar industry 
Conditions of success ; Use of phosphates ; Seedling-canes ; Preservation 
of cuttings ; Topping ; Pitting ; Planting ; Pickling of cuttings ; Rotation ;, 
Manuring ; Irrigation ; Other operations ; Harvesting ; Cost of cultivation and 
yur -making ; Chewing canes ; Pests ; Crushing mills ; Mr. Hadi's method of 
yur and sugar-making.] 

THE sugarcane plant is indigenous to India, and it yields a 
higher proportion of siigar than any other plant, beet coming next to 
it, and the date-palm after beet. The maple-tree of America may 
be regarded as fourth in importance. 

Foreign canes. Though indigenous to India, the best varieties 
of sugarcane are now generally found in those countries where 
European and American planters have been employed in its culti- 
vation. Even the Chinese cane, called by Dr. Roxburgh, Sacchct- 
rum Chinensis, is said to be a better yielder and hardier than the 
ordinary variety of Indian canes. The best varieties of Mauritius 
canes are the Big Tanna, Port Mackay, Lousier, Jscambine, Bamboo, 
and Bois Rouge. The best Queensland cane is the Rappoe or Rose 
Bamboo, which is a very hardy variety, though yielding the largest 
proportion of cane-sugar. In the Straits Settlements the Striped 
Bourbon and Yellow Mauritius are considered the best canes, though 
for chewing purpose the Otaheite is preferred to all others. For 
weight and length the Tanna variety excels the others. Of good 
seedling canes may be mentioned White Bamboo, Singapore, Bour- 
bon and Demerara. The standard cane of the Barbadoes is the 
White Transparent ; but a seedling cane lately established excels 
this and all other good varieties of canes grown in Barbadoes, such 
as the Bourbon, the Jamaica, and the Queensland Creole. The 
White Transparent yields about 5,400 Ibs. of gur and 4,500 Ibs. of 
cane-sugar per acre in low-lying black soils. The Bourbon cane, 
which yields very good results on high red soils, gives only 1,000 Ibs. 
of gur and 840 Ibs. of cane-sugar per acre grown on low-lying black 
soils. Some seedling canes which has been lately established in 
the West Indies suit both high and low soils, the average yield 
exceeding six thousand pounds of gur per acre. The average ob- 
tained on low-lying black soils is still higher. A red Jamaica cane 
has been successfully introduced in Bihar, and it promises better 
than the indigenous Samsara. 

Indigenous varieties. The names of the indigenous varieties- 
of sugarcane are very numerous, but they do not necessarily indi- 
cate distinction. Their habits must be closely studied before they 
can be classified into distinct gfoups. Here and there canes equal 
to the best found in many parts of the world are to be seen, and the 
yield of raw sugar from them also is equal to the best yield obtained 



SUGARCANE. 273 

anywhere, so that there is no necessity for going out of India for 
good seed. There is, in fact, risk of importing diseases with seed 
canes from Java, Mauritius or W es * Indies. The following varie- 
ties have been grown at the Sibpur Farm Samsara, Bombay, 
Khari, Chittagong-Patnai, Saharanpur, Poona, Dhalasundar, Mongo, 
Malohi, Puri, Bagdia, and Baghi. Of .these, Chittagong-Patnai, 
Samsara, Bombay and Khari sugarcanes have been found to be the 
best. The first two are good chewing varieties, and the last a very 
good variety for planters to grow as it is thick-skinned, and not so 
subject to the attack of jackals and insects, and it is a free ratooner. 
After four years the yield falls off rapidly, and as it is not safe to 
keep sugarcane growing on the same land for more than three or 
four years, the ratooning should not be carried on beyond the fourth 
year, after which insect and fungus pests predominating, the crop 
becomes a source of infection to the neighbourhood. The Chitta- 
gong-Patnai variety, though producing fatter and longer canes, 
is very much more subject to the rind fungus than the Samsara or 
other Bengal varieties. The Bombay canes, which were probably 
derived from Otaheite, are softer and richer in juice. The gur 
from it is darker in colour than gur from Samsara canes, and the 
crystals of larger size. On the whole, therefore, it is best to grow 
Samsara or the Dhalasundar of Dacca, if the attention and care 
necessary for growing a superior variety can be bestowed, or else to 
grow the Khari cane. For low-lying bil lands, which remain under 
three or four feet of water for a month or more, a variety of canes 
known as Kulera or Jali-dk, in Faridpur, can be grown. The straw- 
cane and the grass-cane of Bombay, and the red sugarcane of 
Assam are also suitable for swampy lands. Besides the Samsara 
and the Chittagong-Patnai sugarcane, other superior chewing canes 
are the white or red canes grown in Bogra, Khulna and Dacca, 
which, owing to the climate of these districts or on account of special 
facilities for irrigation, often grow to remarkable size, sometimes at- 
taining a length of 20 ft. and a girth of six inches. The produce of 
raw sugar has been, in some instances, 7,000 to 8,000 Ibs. per acre, 
quite equal to the highest obtained in the West Indies. The Madrasi 
Paunda of the United Provinces, the Poona and the Saharanpur 
sugarcane are other good varieties. The Chinia or Chini cane of 
Bhagalpur and Patna is another good chewing variety suitable for 
Bihar districts. In some districts of Western Bengal a hardy variety 
of sugarcane known as Uri, sends out arrows and seeds very freely. 
Other hardy varieties, suitable for agriculturists are Kajli, Puri 
and Katari. The Puri variety grown in Orissa Division produces 
canes somewhat more slender than those produced by the Kajli 
variety which is grown by cultivators all over Bengal. The canes 
of both these varieties are somewhat thicker than Khari canes, but 
they are not such free ratooners nor can they stand water-logging 
so well as the Khari, though like the Khari they can be grown 
without irrigation. The chewing canes make better jaggery than 
the hardier varieties. The Samsara or Dhalasundar cane 

ftf, HA 18 



274 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

the lightest coloured jaggery, though the crystals are somewhat 
smaller than the crystals of the jaggery or gur made from Bombay 
or .Khari sugarcane. 

YWd of gur. The average yield of gur under a proper system 
of cultivation and manuring such as is practicable on a large scale 
by planters, can be put down at 3,500 Ibs. per acre, though as much 
as 8,000 Ibs. per acre have been often obtained in Poona and 
Burdwan. From Samsara and other superior varieties, by very 
careful cultivation and high manuring 8,000 Ibs. per acre may be 
sometimes obtained, but from Khari and the hardy varieties 3,500 
Ibs. of gur per acre can be obtained at a comparatively small cost. 
The average produce of gur of the whole country has been estima- 
ted at a ton (2,240 Ibs.) per acre, and the maximum yield obtained 
by cultivators is three tons. The Bengal cultivator's ideal 
average is 60 matmds or 4,800 Ibs. per acre, i.e., a maund of gur 
per cottah. 

Sugar growing localities. The area under sugarcane in the 
whole of British India has been estimated at 2,500,000 acres, and 
in Bengal, including Assam, at 7,00,000 acres. On the basis of 
1 ton per acre, we have about six crore maunds as the annual pro- 
duce of gur in India, while the import of sugar per annum is great 
and increasing yearly. Mauritius and Java supply the largest pro- 
portion of sugar imported to India. Besides sugar there is a large 
import of molasses. The extension of jute cultivation has prejudi- 
cially affected the area under sugarcane. 

Soil A mere enumeration of the principal sugar-growing dis- 
tricts in Bengal would lead one to infer, that all kinds of soils answer 
for growing sugarcane, including as they do, the rough Archaean 
soils of the Chota Nagpur Division, the old alluvium of Bihar, 
and the new alluvium of Eastern Bengal including low-lying lands 
in Faridpur. The best canes grow at the junction of old and new 
alluvia on the sides of streams and rivulets. These are red clay- 
loam soils specially rich in mineral matters. For growing the 
superior varieties of cane, the two principal considerations that 
should guide one in the selection of a site are : (1) Is the land close 
to water from which it can be easily irrigated ? (2) Is the land 
above inundation level and easily drained and yet level ? Some 
4 red soils of Burdwan, Birbhum and Kandi Sub-divisions of Murshi- 
dabad, though very light, are highly valued for growing sugarcane. 
Probably they contain a high proportion of phosphorus. Phosphates 
are greatly valued for manuring sugarcane wherever European and 
American planters have taken to growing this crop. A very large 
proportion of the bones collected for export, in India, goes to the 
sugarcane plantations of Mauritius. If our cultivators will not use 
bones, they can at least prevont their being collected and taken 
away from their fields and from village golgothas. They do some 
good even when they lie about in the fields in a neglected condition. 



SUGARCANE. 275 

Of course the effect of such an insoluble manure as bones, even 
when powdered is very slow and will be hardly seen unless an 
invigorating manure such as sulphate of ammonia or saltpetre, 
is used also. Even those hardy varieties of sugarcane that can 
stand drought and inundation and for which any soil seems to 
answer, ought to have phosphatic manure applied to them in 
addition to cattle-dung, oil-cake, saltpetre, or other manure that 
may be used. Where the land is annually renovated by silt, and 
where such land is utilised for growing an Aquatic variety of sugar- 
cane, no special manuring is needed or will be of much use. 

The following yields of canes, juice and gur for two plots of 
Khari sugarcane grown at Sibpur were obtained in 1900-1901, 
one manured with the refuse of Cossipore Sugar Factory (i.e., 
principally bone-charcoal) at the rate of 5 maunds, with saltpetre 
at the rate of 2| mannds per acre added to it, and the other 
manured with 10 maunds of castor-cake per acre. The crushing of 
the canes was done in both cases with a two-rollered Behia mill : 

Bone-charcoal Castor-cake 

plot. plot. 

Yield of canes per acre ... 483 maunds. 405 maunds. 

Yield of juice ... 59 per cent, of the 50 percent, of the 

weight of canes. weight of canes. 

Yield of t/nr per acre ... 38 maunds. 37 maunds. 

It should be noted here that the crushing of the canes out 
of the bone-charcoal plot was done a month too early, and had it 
been done at the same time as the other, this plot would have pro- 
b^bly shown still better result. The value of phosphatic manures 
for sugarcane is so well recognised, that confirmation of the fact 
is hardly needed. 

Seedling canes. New a ne j, hardy varieties of canes are obtained 
by Dutch planters in J^ es t *nd elsewhere by a laborious and costly 
process of select^- an( j --following directions for growing sugar- 
cane from %^ p r i c e for t- ^ *^e Dutch rm ^ Messrs. Erdmann 

^ nd Si ,' cuttings also tal^ Ja 7 a : ~ ., 

" uoisture are both sr educing fertile seed is not confined to some 
single v e CQ \^ we ather* rcane * Every variety examined up to now 
could PJ^ S o f the r 9 though some varieties yield more and stronger 
seeds thai | ve ^ One of the chief difficulties in sowing cane is 
to cut the ^j, ' just at the time of its seeds being ripe and not 
yet blown away DV the wind. The criterion is found to be in the 
topmost leaflet of the cane just under the arrow. As soon as this 
begins to wither, the seed is ripe and the arrow should be cut. 
The separate .small ears are stripped and laid flat in a wooden box, 
filled with a mixture of sand, clay and well-rotten pen manure. 
The ears are not to be covered with earth, and the box should be 
placed in the sunsSine and kept constantly moist by watering it 
with a common watering pot having a very fine rose in order 
not to disturb the minute seeds. 



276 HANDBOOK OF AGBICULTUBE. 

' c After five to seven days the seeds will germinate, and small 
plants, just like young grass, will come forth. 

' ' In order to watch the growth of the young germs, it is good 
to place a mark near every one, which enables one to find them back 
easily. 

" If after eight days the arrow did not yet germinate, it is 
a sign that the seed was not fertile, as beyond that time no more 
germination will take place. As soon as the young plants have 
reached a height of three to four inches they are transplanted into 
big flower pots, filled with the same soil-mixture as referred to 
above. The pots are placed in the full sunshine and kept con- 
stantly moist, as the plants require a rich soil, much water, and 
much sunshine. After a few weeks, when they are 1 to 1 J feet high 
they are brought over into the field and treated just as ordinary 
sugarcane. 

" According to Benecke's and Soltwedel's researches sugar- 
cane seed loses its germinating power within six weeks. Therefore 
everything has to be prepared beforehand in order to allow the 
sowing to be started immediately after the arrival of the seeds. 

" It ought to be well understood that the only purpose of 
sugarcane sowing is the raising of a new variety with possibly 
better qualities than the ordinary existing ones and not the change 
of the old way of planting with tops into planting from seed. 

' ' From thousands of young plants raised in the horticulturists' 
nurseries, only those are picked which look promising; the others 
are destroyed. The picked plants are tested, and if some of them 
prove to be of superior quality they are propagated in the usual 
way by cuttings. 

66 The few planters in Java, who have their estates partly or 
entirely under seedling canes, do not -,y heir estate, but plant it 
with cuttings from canes, the ancesto ne t, which have been raised 
from seed." : al im 

<e junction 

Cuttings. Canes that are chosen for s'^ts. These for cuttings, 
should be ' topped ' when they are matters. For growttds, the 
topmost bud should be cut away, that thipal considerations^ J n~>w 
to the lateral buds and develop them to ^: (1) Is the lar/lition. 
The sprouting is helped in this country by keep! ? (2) Is flngs in a 
cool pit, by putting a layer of damp straw and t yet leveiie bottom 
of the pit and then arranging on this successive vij-erb of cuttings 
&nd wet straw and ashes until the pit is filled, wlien over the last 
layer of ashes and straw, earth is put on, and the whole allowed 
to remain for a week. After this, the cuttings will be found to have 
sprouted and rootlets come out of the knots. The cultings, though 
ready for planting out, may yet be kept for a month if the covering 
of earth is removed from the pit, and the cuttings kept in a standing 
position in the pit with a covering of straw and ashes, which should 
be kept damp by sprinkling of water as occasion arises. The top 
two feet of canes make the best cuttings, but the topmost bud must 



SUGARCANE. 277 

foe rejected beforehand as already directed. The practice preva- 
lent in most parts of India of utilising for cuttings the very topmost 
portion only is based on a false idea of economy. If topping is 
done, there is no difficulty in selecting the most promising cuttings 
for planting. In any case, that is, whether topping is done or not, 
the healthiest and best canes should be chosen for seed, and the 
top two feet of these used. As the bud occurs on the upper side of 
a knot, and the nourishment is derived from the portion of cane 
above this knot and below the next knot above it, cuttings should be 
so made that there may be no superfluous cane below the lowest 
node and that a whole joint above the highest bud may be included. 
Each cutting need not have more than three buds, and if they are 
made after sprouting has taken place subsequent to topping, one 
can be almost sure of three buds going to every cutting. With 
regard to the sprouting of lateral buds either in the cane while it is 
still standing or after planting th j whole cane in the soil, it should be 
noted that the topmost bud of the cane sprouts first, then the next 
one below it, and so on towards the lower end of the cane. But 
if the cane is cut up into sections and planted, every bud at the 
upper end of each cutting will come out first simultaneously, and 
then the next ones towards the thicker end, and so on until the 
third or fourth bud, i.e., as many as are left on each section, finishes 
sprouting. So although the planting of cuttings along a line is 
almost continuous, whole canes or sections which are too long 
should not be planted, as is done in many parts of India, but to 
make sure of at least one healthy and uninjured bud per cutting 
it is best to have each cutting about nine inches long. 

Planting. Sugarcane harvesting and sugarcane planting 
<can proceed for eight months in the year, viz., from September to 
April ; but the best time for harvesting sugarcane is December 
to February, and the best month for planting the cuttings is Feb- 
ruary. Harvesting and planting in September and October, one 
gets very high price for the canes during the Pujahs, and sprouting 
of the cuttings also takes place freely at this season, as the heat 
and moisture are both sufficient to help the growth of the young plant. 
But the cold weather that follows retards the growth, and makes 
the nodes of the canes very short. From November to May as 
many as twelve irrigations may have to be given to keep the plants 
in proper condition. From February the growth is again normal, 
and there are no short nodes formed, but, on the whole, the time 
.and expense from September to February are wasted, and the only 
advantage in doing the planting in September or October is the 
obtaining of a crop of chewing canes during the Pujahs when they 
fetch a very high price in a town like Calcutta. Planting in 
November to January, the sprouting is most tardy, and most of the 
cuttings may perish before they have time to sprout through the 
attack of white ants or from the caking of the soil preventing the 
sprouts from forcing their way upwards. Cuttings planted from 



278 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

November to January do not make any more progress than those 
planted in February. If harvesting is done in December and Janu- 
ary which months are as well suited as February for making high 
class gur, the seed-cane may be topped and left to sprout on the 
fields, or they may be made into cuttings and stored in pits in the 
manner described before. The actual planting should be put off 
till February. By planting in March one saves one irrigation, but 
the growth from cuttings planted in February is better. March 
planting answers where, as in Bihar, Chota Nagpur, etc., this month 
is cool. The conditions as to temperature prevailing in the delta 
of the Ganges are not the same as those prevailing in the hills, or 
in the rocky western districts of this Province. But the principle 
of planting in mild temperature and after the cold weather has well 
passed off, but a good while before the rains set in, may be followed 
in every locality. Planting in May or June is very risky, except 
in free and gritty soils, as water-logging or even heavy rainfall, 
when the plants are still very short, is injurious to sugarcane as to 
most crops. Sugarcane, like maize or juar, is benefited by heavy 
rainfall if it commences after the plants are about a foot high. 

Various modes of planting are adopted. In Mauritius where 
high winds prevail, planting is done in deep trenches or in holes, 
to give the canes a good support at the base. After the land has 
been ploughed up, holes or continuous trenches are made about a 
foot deep and 4| to 5 ft. apart from centre to centre from line to line 
and the cuttings are planted in the lines with an interval of nine 
inches between two lots of three cuttings planted in each spot in the 
form of an arrow. Three inches of loose soil are put in the holes or 
trenches, and these are watered, and then the cuttings arc planted 
and another three inches of earth put on. When the plants are a 
foot high, the land is levelled, that is, the trenches are entirely filled 
up, and a second earthing makes shallow trenches between the 
rows of plants. At each of the two earthings a measured quantity 
of powdered manure (consisting usually of human or animal excreta 
and bone-meal or oil-cake) is applied at the bottom of each clump, 
i.e., about a quarter of a ft each time. 

In Bengal, the cuttings are planted in shallow trenches (about 
6 inches deep) made with kodalies, 1% to 2J ft. apart. This is much 
too close planting, involving the use of kodalies for hoeing, earthing 
and trenching. The system prevalent in Queensland, New South 
Wales and Fiji Islands, seems worth adopting in this country. 
The cuttings are planted in double rows, 6 ft. apart, the two rows 
close together being only 18 inches apart. This is equivalent to- 
planting single rows 3 ft. apart. But a distance of 3 ft. from centre 
to centre of lines of plants does not allow interculture by bullocks ; 
while a distance of 6 ft. from centre to centre does allow such in- 
terculture being practised. In working on a large scale the employ- 
ment of hand-tools should be 'avoided as much as possible, and 
bullock-power substituted. The trenches may not be so straight, 
there may be some injury done by bullock treading on plants, but 



SUGARCANE. 279 

these are not of much consequence, as the saving of labour and time 
effected by the employment of proper farm-implements instead of 
garden-tools, is enormous. The 18-inch trenches can be made 
with the double mould-board plough the cuttings planted length- 
wise in two rows at the two sides of the trenches, say three cuttings 
being planted in every 4 ft. of length in each row, and the trenches 
after irrigation beijig filled up by splitting of the ridges in between 
with mould-boards. The subsequent hoeings and earthings can be 
done with the Hunter hoe, when the planting is done in the 
above described manner. Planting in this way, nearly 12,000 
cuttings are required per acre (theoretically 10,890), and as Bengal 
cultivators use about 2 kahans (2 x 1,280) of cuttings per bigha 
(one-third of an acre), there is really not much sacrifice of space 
made for effecting saving in the cost of labour. The growth of 
canes is also healthier under such a treatment, as the plants get 
more air and sunlight throughout the period of growth and a 
proper elaboration of sugar is the consequence, i.e., a gur richer 
in cane-sugar crystals. 

Pickling As sugarcane is very much subject to the attack 
of insect and fungus pests, it is important to sow the cuttings or 
seedlings after pickling, i.e., after smearing each lot of cuttings or 
seedlings with a mixture of insecticides and fungicides. But as 
these substances even when used in a dilute form are generally in- 
jurious to vegetable cells, it is best to dry up the substances with 
which the cuttings or seedlings are smeared immediately afterwards 
with such manurial substances as have some effect in keeping out 
insects also. Thus half a pound of powdered sulphate of copper 
is mixed up with 100 Ibs. of hot water and if 8 ounces of powdered 
white arsenic with 1 Ib. of dme are added to the vat containing 
the sulphate of copper solution, the sugarcane cuttings can be dip- 
ped in this insecticidal and fungicidal mixture, immediately before 
planting, but the cuttings after being dipped in this liquid mixture 
should have a coating of powdered castor-cake (100 Ibs.), ashes (2 Ibs. ) 
and soot (1 Ib.), that the growth of the young plant may be helped 
by these manurial substances. If sulphate of copper is not avail- 
able 1 Ib. of alum may be used in place of | Ib. of sulphate of copper 
for making the fungicidal solution. Half an ounce of asafoetida 
may be mixed with every 100 Ibs. of the fungicidal solution, as the 
strong smell of asafcetida keeps out most insects. The mixture 
should be used up the same day that it is made. The quantities 
mentioned will suffice for pickling cuttings required for 1 acre of 
land. 

Rotation Except in the case of a ratooned variety, sugarcane 
should not be grown on the same land more than once in four years. 
It is best to grow sugarcane after a preparatory crop of Dhaincha 
(Sesbania aculeata), Sunn-hemp (Crotolaria juncea), or Barbati 
(Vigna catiang), cut down when in flower, in August. A crop of 
potatoes may be grown from October to February, and the land 



280 HANDBOOK OF AGKIOULTUBB , 

immediately afterwards got ready for planting sugarcane in 
February. After the sugarcane is off the land next February, a crop 
of arahar (Cajanus indicus) or of aus paddy (if the land is not too 
poor or exhausted by cropping) should be taken. After the aus 
paddy, a crop of potatoes may be taken again, and then sugarcane 
may come in also. After the arahar (which occupies the land for 
nine or ten months), sugarcane may follow immediately afterwards, 
if growing of sugarcane is the main object of the farm. Otherwise, 
greater prominence is to be given to ordinary agricultural crops, and 
one of the systems of rotation described in the chapter on rotation 
of crops, adopted, according to the nature of the soil. As indigo- 
planters are proposing to go in largely for sugarcane, it should be 
noted here that indigo and sugarcane form an excellent rotation. 
The slack season for indigo, viz., December to April, is the busiest 
season for sugarcane. From May to November scarcely anything 
need be done to sugarcane. Letting out the water from fields, 
tying the canes and one hoeing, are all the operations needed during 
these seven months when indigo is being sown, cut, steeped and 
manufactured. The space between two lines of sugarcane is some- 
times utilized of growing such crops as ground-nut, cow-pea, green 
maize, onions, carrots, cucumber, melons, etc. 

Manuring. Sugarcane responds well to a heavy outlay on ma- 
nures. Dr. Leather suggests the application of 300 to 350 Ibs. 
of nitrogen chiefly in the form of oil-cakes. The following mixtures 
are recommended : 

(1) Bone-meal 10 maunds per acre applied before sowing. 

Castor- cake 30 maunds per acre applied after sowing, in two 
doses 

(2) Cowdung 600 maunds per acre ploughed in before trenching, 

Bone-meal 10 maunds per acre before sowing. 

(3) Poudrette 350 maunds per acre before sowing. 

(4) Powdered apatite 6 maunds per acre applied before sowing. 

Castor-cake 20 maunds per acre applied after sowing in two doses, 
and saltpetre 2 maunds per acre applied in two doses after the 
plants are a foot high, but before June 

(5) Castor cake -35 maunds per acre applied in two doses before the two 

earthings 

(6) Fish manure 30 maunds per acre after sowing. 

(7) Safflower cake 30 maunds per acre before and after sowing. 

(8) Kape cake 50 maunds per acre before and after sowing 

* 



. 

Sulphate of potash- i ,', j 

Human excreta are considered a most suitable manure for 
sugarcane. Even cowdung should be rotted for 4 or 5 months, 
dried and powdered. In a powdery state dung has more invigorating 
effect than in the plastic state. Mixture No. (9) recommended above 
is largely used by European and American sugar planters. Some 
use only sulphate of ammonia fpr sugarcane grown after a green- 
crop (such as cow-pea) is ploughed in. Sulphate of ammonia con- 
taining over 20 per cent, nitrogen can be had f or Rs. 10 per maund. 



SUGARCANE. 281 

Sulphate of potash costs about the same. Superphosphate of lime 
would cost about Rs. 4 per maund. 

Subsequent operations. When the land has been thoroughly prepar- 
ed by deep cultivation, harrowing and rolling, and cuttings planted 
after trenching and watering, and when manuring has been done, 
the intervals between the plants should be given one hoeing with 
the Hunter hoe after each watering. From March to June four irri- 
gations may be needed in Bengal. In Bengal sugarcane is irrigated 
from one to eight times, but in the Bombay Presidency 20 irrigations 
are quite common Mr. Mollison actually recommends 34 irriga- 
tions giving 50 inches of water in addition to that derived from rain- 
fall (p. 119 of Vol. Ill of the Text-Book on Indian Agriculture). 
But the need for irrigation depends mainly on the variety of sugar- 
cane grown, the time of sowing and the locality. If a coarse 
variety (such as Khari or Kajli) is grown, and if the sowing is done 
in April (after irrigation), one subsequent irrigation will be found 
sufficient to bring the plants on in most parts of Bengal. But even 
in this case two or three hoeings and one hand-weeding will be 
found helpful during May and June, after which nothing need be 
done till harvest time. To break up the surface pan it is important 
to do a hoeing after each irrigation ; the first hoeing should be with 
hand-tools. If trench-irrigation is practised no caking takes place 
at the foot of plants and constant hoeing is not required. The su- 
perior varieties of canes that have soft skins are particularly bene- 
fited by tying. The tying protects the canes from the attack of 
insect and fungus-pests and jackals, and the growth is more uniform 
and clean. The opposite practice of 'trashing,' or tearing away 
the older leaves as the canes grow, probably accounts for the rav- 
ages of fungus diseases in European and American cane plantations. 
The scars formed by trashing offer excellent resting places for spores 
of fungi, while the enveloping of canes from below upwards with 
the leaves, as practised in this country, probably offers a great pro- 
tection not only against the spores of the fungi resting on the canes, 
but also against the insects laying eggs on the canes. It is said that 
tying increases the yield of gur, but this point must be established 
by repeated comparative experiments. But so far the results of 
experiments made at Sibpur and Burdwan confirm the current 
belief that tying increases the yield of yur. The operation costs 
about Ks. 6 per acre, but as 3 maunds of gur more were obtained 
in these experiments, the cost is more than made up by the outturn. 
From July to October, the canes should be tied twice, the tying being 
so done that the canes may also support one another, and not lodge 
in the soil. 

Harvesting; When there is little moisture in the soil, and when 
the top leaves have begun to wither, the canes should be considered 
fit for cutting. The practical farmer would also judge from the taste 
of the 6anes whether they are sweet enough to be cut. If too much 
time is wasted in judging whether canes are quite ready for cutting 



282 HANDBOOK OP AGRICULTURE. 

or not, the excessively hot and dry weather may come on during 
the progress of the harvest operations, and then the yield of juice 
and the quality of the g ur turned out will be inferior. December to 
February is the proper season for harvesting canes in Lower Bengal; 
but if owing to late rains, or late sowing, the plants look quite vigor- 
ous and green in December, and if the canes do not taste sweet 
enough, one must wait for a fortnight or perhaps a month, before 
commencing cutting the canes. The canes should be cut with ko- 
dalies close to the ground, rather two or three inches underground. 
If stumps are allowed to be left on the ground, these send out in 
the case of ratooned canes, poor shoots which yield a poor re- 
turn next year. Sometimes from these prominent stumps flower- 
stalks come out, but owing to their want of strength, the arrows 
cannot come out of them, and they become smutted and dried up. 
This smutting of flower-stalks in the case of the Khari sugarcane 
is said to do no harm, as shoots coming afterwards from deep down 
the earth grow up vigorously and continue to grow side by side 
with the smutted flower-stalks, apparently unaffected by them. 
But it is never safe to allow a luxuriant growth of parasitic fungus, 
as a fungus may sometimes prove very injurious though at other times 
it does not seem to do any practical harm. Lodged canes contain 
a large proportion of glucose. More than 0*5 per cent, of glucose 
should be avoided. Immature canes also contain a higher pro- 
portion of glucose, and also canes which are diseased specially with 
the rind fungus. Canes should be cleaned with water and put on 
a piece of mat near the crushing mill to avoid dirt. 

Cost of growing an acre of Sugarcane. In the following estimate 
made out for Bengal conditions, the wages have been calculated 
at the rate of 4 annas, and the most approved system only taken 
into account. 

Es. A. P. 

Harrowing the field after lifting potatoes ... ... 6 

Rolling .. .. ... ... ... 6 

Trenching with double mould-board plough ... ... 12 

12,000 cuttings at Rs. 2 per 1,000 ... ... ... 24 

Cost of getting the cuttings sprouted in a pit (if previous 

topping is not done) ... ... ... 1 8 (> 

Cost of pickling the cuttings ... ... 5 

2 maunds of apatite (i.e., 10 maunds per acre once in 5 years) 600 

Castor-cake 15 maunds ... ... ... 30 

Saltpetre, 2$ maunds ... ... ... 15 

Cost of planting cuttings (24 men) ... ...600 

Cost of filling up blanks, a month afterwards ... ... 8 

Cost of applying the manure before the two earthings ... 4 

Cost of three irrigation** (February, March and April) ... 9 

Cost of one irrigation in November (if necessary) ... 3 (' 

Coat of one hand-weeding in March ... ... 4 8 

Cost of one hoeing with Hunter hoe it May ... ... 0120 

Coat of two more hoeings (earthings) with Hunter hoe, June 180 

Twotyings ... ... ... ... ...600 



SUGARCANE. 283 

Rs. A. P. 

One hoeing with kodalies (15 men) after the November 

irrigation ... ... ... ... ... 3 12 

60 men employed in cutting and stripping the canes (distri- 
buted over 12 days) ... .. ... ... 15 

One man employed for 12 days at the crushing mill ~ 3 

One man employed for 12 days for driving bullocks ... 3 

Hire of 2 pairs of bullocks for 12 days ... 6 

One man clarifying and boiling the juice for 12 days ... 3 

Fuel for the first 2 days ... ... ... 1 

Quick-lime, phosphoric acid, and litmus paper 



Cost of employing a man for making sugar an 



80 earthen pots 
Interest and depreciation 
Rent of land ... 



assisting in 



I 

300 
400 
200 
300 



TOTAL Ks. ... 166 



Outturn 40 maunds of native white sugar at Us. 5 ... 200 

5 raaunds of clean molasses at Rs. 2 per raaund ... 10 



TOTAL ... 210 

// Chewing Canes are sold, 20,000 canes sold at 1 picte each, 
would mean a gross income of about Rs. 300 per acre. In this case 
the cost of gw-making is saved, but for growing superior varieties, 
a little more expenditure on account of irrigation, hoeing and tying 
the canes, will bring up the total to about Rs. 150 per acre without 
the cost of </w-making. The cost after the first year in the case 
of ratooned varieties, is less by about Rs. 30 per acre. In Bihar, 
where wages can be calculated at 2as.,the cost of growing an acre 
of sugarcane may come to only about Rs. 100 or even less. 

For killing jackals and pigs, a gun should be in constant use 
117 a sugarcane plantation. Dogs may be also kept for the same 
purpose, specially as they may prove very useful against thieves. 

Crushing of Canes. With a two-rollered Behia mill, one gets only 
about 58 per cent, of juice out of coarse canes (such as Khari 
and 'Kajli) and 68 to 69 per cent, out of Samsara and Bombay. 
With a three-rollered Behia mill one gets about 64 per cent, from 
the coarser canes, 69 J per cent, from Samsara, and 71 per cent, 
from Bombay canes. The former costs Rs. 80 and the latter 
Rs. 100. A still higher yield (about 72 per cent, in the case of coarse 
canes) is obtained with the help of a horizontal roller-mill worked 
by steam-power. The three-rollers of this mill are each 6 or 7 ft. 
long and 30 to 32 inches in diameter, and a large quantity of sugar- 
cane can be thus put in at once into these rollers, while only three 
or four canes can be fed into the Behia mill at a time. The roller 
mills set up in the Bamra State (Sambalpur) and at the Begum 
Serai Indigo Factory in Bihar (which have been supplied by Messrs^ 
Jessop & Co. of Calcutta) and which are worked by a 6-H. P. en- 
gine, are capable of crushing 20 tons of sugarcane per day, while a 



284 HANDBOOK OP AGRICULTURE. 

crop of 20 tons of sugarcane (which is usually obtained out of an 
acre) requires 10 to 12 days' crushing with the Behia mill. With 
the help of a shredder which divides up the canes longitudinally 
before they are crushed, a higher percentage still than 72 is obtained. 
Sugarcane contains naturally 85 to 91 per cent, of its weight of 
juice, which is the maximum possible yield, but no mechanical 
pressure can be applied to get the whole of the maximum 91 per 
cent. out. By the diffusion process, which consists in getting the 
sugar from shredded canes extracted by means of very hot steam 
forced through cylinders containing the shredded canes, almost the 
whole of the sugar is got out of the canes. The percentage of juice- 
that is obtainable from the cane does not altogether depend on the 
crushing mill. A cane which contains 16 per cent, of fibrous matter, 
and 18 per cent, of cane-sugar, would yield only 45 to 50 per cent, 
of juice, while one containing 10 per cent, of fibrous matter and 18 
per cent, of cane-sugar, will yield about 70 per cent, with the same 
crushing appliance. The rind and other fibrous matters act like a 
sponge in retaining the juice. By getting rid of the rind, one gets a 
higher yield of juice. There may be considerations that may de- 
termine a planter to prefer a hardy fibrous variety to a soft cel- 
lular variety, such as the Samsara or the Otaheite cane, and in 
such a case the use of a decorticator or at least a shredder before 
crushing is advisable. But as the horizontal mill, the shredder, 
or the decorticator, would cost more money than our cultivator 
could afford to spend, these improvements are meant for planters 
and capitalists, who may wish to launch out into sugarcane planting. 
Usually canes are passed twice through the mill to get as much juice 
out as possible. 

Whether steam-power, bullock-power, or buffalo-power is 
employed for crushing canes, it should be borne in mind that too 
great a speed or jerky motion of the rollers, results in diminished 
yield. This precaution is specially needed where steam-power is 
employed for working the mills. A roller of 30-inch diameter 
should make only about four revolutions per minute. Modern ap- 
pliances for crushing sugarcanes, and for clarifying and boiling 
the juice, are obtainable of Messrs. Pott, Cassels and Williamson 
and Messrs. Watson Laidlaw & Co., both of Glasgow, of the 
Sangerhauser Engineering Co., Ld., of Berlin, and of Messrs. 
Krajewski & Pesant Co., 32-34, Broadway, New York. 

Mr. Hadi's method of gur and sugar-making. Most important 
improvements have been recently introduced in gur and sugar- 
making by Mr. S. M. Hadi, M.R.A.C., till recently Assistant Direc- 
tor of Agriculture in the United Provinces. As these are capable 
of being put into practice by small capitalists, they are well worth 
learning, and the Agricultural Department of the United Provinces 
has made suitable arrangements for teaching the methods. A 
short description of these methods will not be out of place here, 
though without practice it is not possible to learn them to any 
advantage. 



SUGARCANE. 285 

Clarifying. The clean bundles of cane are crushed withih 24 
hours of cutting, the crushing commencing at 4 A.M., and the boiling 
soon afterwards. The juice, as the canes are crushed, falls through 
a strainer into a kerosine tin provided with an iron handle, and as 
each tin gets filled, it is removed at once to the boiling shed and put 
in the copper clarifier, or if the clarifier is full, in the reserve tank 
above it, which is in contact with the flue running up from the un- 
derground oven to the chimney. The reserve tank may be of gal- 
vanized iron. Twenty kerosine tinfuls (about 10 maunds) is a full 
charge. As the juice gets heated in the clarifier, the scum rises to 
the top, which is not to be touched until it splits. In the meantime 
one pound of pink saji (crude carbonate of soda) should be boiled 
in water, cooled and strained, and one pound of bhindi (ladies' finger) 
stalks should be washed, pounded and immersed in clean water, 
and afterwards the mucilage inside the stalks rubbed out between 
the hands till the water becomes thick and mucilaginous. When 
the scum in the clarifier has split, half the feAincfo'-water should be 
put in the clarifier and the scum should then be removed. The 
remaining half of the Wmwfo'-water should be then put in, and the 
saji- water also put in afterwards. The scum should be continu- 
ously removed, and if the liquor does not become quite transpa- 
rent by this time, cold water should be sprinkled in the clarifier 
and more sa/i-water or saji and Wmiafo-water both added, until the 
liquor becomes quite clear. Instead of pink saji, the more impure 
dark saji may be used, and better still bicarbonate of soda, about 
3 to 4 drams (a little over 1 tola) of the soda being sufficient for 
clarifying a full charge of juice (10 to 12 maunds). If the juice 
is poor in quality or obtained from stale cane, it is desirable to use 
about 3 pints of limewater along with sa^'-water after the liquor 
has become transparent. The limewater should be added gradu- 
ally, continuing so long as the liquor does not show any floating 
particles. As soon as these particles appear, the liming is to be 
stopped. 

Concentrating. As soon as the juice in the clarifier has acquired 
the desired degree of brilliancy, the tap should be opened and the 
liquor allowed to flow into the concentrator through a double blan- 
ket filter placed over the concentrator. The liquor in the concen- 
trator is to be skimmed from time to time for removing the froth 
that rises on the liquor. When the liquor has acquired the requisite 
consistency in the concentrator, which is to be determined from 
experience, it is to be run into the third vessel also situated on the 
oven, called the evaporator, which is divided up into several com- 
partments. Care should be taken that the sugar in the evaporator 
does not get burnt into caramel. A little skimming will be necessary 
when the liquor is passing through the different compartments of 
the evaporator. At the last compartment ebullition will be very 
violent, and if there is fear of the rob overflowing, a few drops of 
castor-oil mixed with sa/i-water or a little ghi may be thrown 



286 HANDBOOK OP AGRICULTURE. 

into the boiling mass and the liquid will subside at once. The oven 
has to be fed very carefully that the rob may not get burnt. Each 
vessel, the clarifier, the concentrator and each compartment of 
the evaporator is to be constantly charged with liquor, and in the 
absence of liquor, with water, that the vessels may not get spoilt 
with heat. The boiling of the juice into rob is a work of experience 
and it must be learnt by practice. 

Airing. As soon as the boiling liquor in the evaporator has 
thickened sufficiently, it should be let out into an earthen gdmld 
or ndnd. As soon as about 20 or 30 seers of rab have accumulated 
in the earthen vessel, it should be removed from its place and 
another vessel put in its place, and the rab in the first subjected to 
the process of airing. This is done with a ladle, by stirring and let- 
ting fall the liquid from a height of 2 feet, until the liquid is suffi- 
ciently cool to be touched. Experience is needed for carryino- 
out this operation also with success. If airing is not done sufl 
ciently, crystallization will be imperfect and slow ; if it is overdone, 
the crystals will be of small size. 

Separation of Sugar The rab is to be then put in kalsies and, 
when quite cool, the kalsies may be removed elsewhere, and after at 
least 10 days the contents of the kalsies are to be emptied into a 
centrifugal hydro-extractor such as that constructed by Messrs. 
Thomas Broadbent and Sons of Huddersfield, England, under Mr. 
Hadi's instructions. The cost of each machine is 25,and the freight 
and other charges are about Rs. 40 extra. Messrs. Macbeth 
Brothers of Calcutta sell this centrifugal machine for Rs. 425. Before 
the machine with the rab is put in motion, a liquor consisting of 
molasses (half a seer) and bicarbonate of soda (one dram) well 
mixed together, should be put over the rab, and then the machine 
turned by four labourers at full speed. The molasses will go through 
the rab and the wire gauze of the machine and come out, while the 
white sugar will adhere to the sides of the machine. To make the 
sugar whiter, a warm decoction of ritha or soap-nut (Sapindus 
mukossi) is sprinkled from time to time over the rab while the 
machine is turning. To prepare the decoction about 1 seer of ritha 
should be pounded and thrown into 8 seers of water which should be 
then boiled. The use of the bicarbonate of soda and the riiha- 
decoction makes the sugar, perfectly white like sugar from European 
factories. It should be then taken out and ground lightly with 
a wooden roller, dried in the sun, and passed through a sieve. 



THE DATE-SUGAR. 287 

CHAPTER LXI. 

THE DATE-SUGAR. 

[Extracts from Westland's report on the Date-sugar industry of Jcssore ; the 

Khandwa experiments.] 

THE following account of the date-palm and date-sugar, taken 
from Westland's Report of the Jessore district, will give some idea 
of the great value of the date-palm as a source of sugar supply. 
There are forests of date trees in many parts of Central India, the 
Central Provinces and Madras Presidency, and some experiments 
are already in progress. 

c ' One of the most important industries in the district of 
Jessore is the cultivation and manufacture of date-sugar. There 
are so many people who derive from sugar all that they have, above 
the mere necessaries of life, that it may be considered that the 
sugar cultivation and trade is the root of all their prosperity. In a 
statistical table prepared in 1791, we find it recorded that 20,000 
maunds was the annual produce of the sugar cultivation, and that 
of this about half was exported to Calcutta. In these later years 
the date-sugar has almost entirely driven away the cane-sugar from 
the fields as well as from the market. European factories began to 
be set up in the district, and it was these factories that gave such 
impulse to the trade. The first sugar factory in the country was 
at Dhoba, in Burdwan, a little below Nuddea, and it was erected 
by a Mr. Blake. When his success began to diminish, he changed 
the business into that of a company, from which he gradually with- 
drew. This Dhoba Sugar Company established a factory at Kot- 
chandpur, in Jessore, getting up English machinery and afterwards 
applied the English system to the Dhoba factory also. The history 
of the English sugar refinery is not a record of success. The truth 
was, that when they gave a great impulse to the sugar cultivation 
native merchants stepped in and appropriated all the trade which 
the factories had given birth to. The methods used by native mer- 
chants impart to the sugar all the purity which is required by the 
consumers. Had the European market remained open, the Euro- 
pean factories might have competed with the native with some 
chance of success. But the duties levied in Europe appear to have 
been sufficient to prevent the development of the export trade, and 
the factories established at Cossipore and Bally, near Calcutta, 
appear, through the more favourable circumstances in which 
they were placed, to have monopolised the European market in 
Calcutta. 

" The ground chosen for date cultivation is the higher ground, 
that^ which is too high for rice to grow well, and the rent paid for 
such r ground is at least three times that for rice land.* The trees 

* High and low land are, however, equally suitable for date cultivation. In 
fact T date trees should be grown in small hollows, where the rain water would 
collect and play round them, but too much of it would kill them. Planting should 
be done 3 yds. apart each way. Pits in which they are planted should be manured 



288 HANDBOOK OF AGBIOULTURE. 

are planted in regular rows, each tree being about twelve feet from 
its neighbour. If so planted and left for seven years before being 
touched, good healthy trees may be expected. Those who cultivate 
dates keep the land, specially in the cold season, perfectly bare of 
any vegetation, ploughing up the turf, so that the whole strength 
of the ground may expend itself in the trees. Of course, there are 
people who cultivate other crops upon the land where the date trees, 
grow, and there are very many who have not patience enough to 
wait for the expiration of full seven years ; such people, however, 
lose in the end by their trees failing to give the same richness in 
juice that is obtained from trees more carefully tended. When the 
tree is ripe, the process of tapping begins, and it is continued each 
year thereafter. There are in the date-palm two series, or stories 
as it were, of leaves ; the crown-leaves, which rise straight out from 
the top of the trunk, being, so to speak, a continuation of it ; and 
the lateral leaves, which spring out of the side of the top part of the 
trunk. When the rainy season has completely passed, and there is 
no more fear of rain, the cultivator cuts off the lateral leaves for one 
half of the circumference, and thus leaves bare a surface measur- 
ing about ten or twelve inches each way. This surface is at first 
a brilliant white, but becomes by exposure quite brown, and puts- 
on the appearance of coarse matting. The surface thus laid bare is 
not the woody fibre of the tree, but is a bark formed of many thin 
layers, and it is these layers which thus change their colour and 
texture. 

" After the tree has remained for a few days thus exposed, 
the tapping is performed by making a cut into this exposed surface, 
in the shape of a very broad V, about 3 inches across and J or ^ 
inch deep. Then the surface inside the angle of the V is cut down, 
so that a triangular surface is cut into the tree. From this surface- 
exudation of the sap takes place, and caught by the sides of the V, 
it runs down to the angle, where a bamboo of the size of a lead- 
pencil (i.e., a narrow bamboo channel) is inserted into the tree to 
catch the dropping sap and carry it out as by a spout. 

" The tapping is arranged throughout the season, by periods 
of six days each. On the first evening a cut is made as just described 
and the juice is allowed to run during the night. The juice so flow- 
ing is the strongest and best, and is called " jiran " juice. In 
the morning the juice collected in a pot hanging beneath the bamboo- 
spout is removed and the heat of the sun causes the exuding juice 
to ferment over and shut up the pores in the tree. So in the even- 
ing the new cut is made, not nearly so deep as the last, but rather 
a mere paring, and for the second night the juice is allowed to run. 

at the end of each season and the ground ploughed up before and after the rainy 
season until they are fairly well grown up. Each palm, before it enters into its 
full adult stage, throws up about 15 to 20 offshoots which may be detached and 
transplanted. One per cent, of male trees for fecundating purposes would be 
quite enough. But male and female trees should be grown indiscriminately^ 
where obtaining of juice is the only object. 



THE BATE-SUGAR. 289 

This juice is termed " do-kat," and is not quite so abundant or so 
good as the " jiran." The third night no new cutting is made 
but the exuding surface is merely made quite clean, and the juice 
which runs this third night is called * * jharna. ' ' It is less abundant 
and less rich than the do-liat, and towards the end of the season, 
when it is getting hot, it is even unfit for sugar manufacture, the 
gur made from it (and also from day jharna) being sold simply as 
" droppings." . These three nights are the periods of activity in 
the tree, and after these three, it is allowed to remain for three nights 
at rest, when the same process again begins. Of course, every tree 
in the same grove does not run in the same cycle. Some are at 
their first, some at their second night, and so on ; and thus the owner 
is always busy. 

' ' Since every sixth day a new cut is made over the previous 
one, it follows that the tree gets more and more hewed into as the 
season progresses, and towards the end of the season, the exuding 
surface may be, and often is, as much as four inches below the 
surface. The cuts are during the whole of one season made 
about the same place, but in alternate seasons, alternate sides of 
the tree are used for the tapping ; and as each season's cutting is 
thus above the previous season's, and on the opposite side, the 
stem of the tree has, if looked at from the side, a curious zigzag 
appearance. The age of a tree can, of course, be at once counted 
up by enumerating the notches and adding six or seven, the 
number of years passed before the first year's notch. When they 
are forty-six years old they are worth little as produce-bearing trees. 
At first the size of the bared surface previous to the notching 
is about ten inches square ; but it gets less and less, as the notches 
come to the higher and narrower part of the trunk, and I have 
seen old trees where not more than four inches square could be 
found. It is somewhat remarkable that the notches are almost 
always on the east and west sides of the tree, and very rarely on 
the north and south sides ; also the first notch appears to be made, 
in by far the majority of instances, on the east side. 

' ' As to the produce of one tree, one may expect from a good 
tree a regular average of five seers per night (excluding the quiescent 
nights). The colder and clearer the weather, the more copious and 
rich the produce. In the beginning of November tapping has be- 
gun. In December and January the juice flows best, beginning 
sometimes as early as 3 P.M., and it dwindles away as the warm 
days of March come. If the cultivator begins too early, or carries 
on too late, he will lose in quality and quantity as much as he will 
gain by extending the tapping season. But high prices begin in 
October, and there are not many who can resist the temptation of 
running into market with their premature produce. 

* ' During the whole of the tapping season a good cultivator 
will keep his grove perfectly clean and free from jungle or even grass. 

' ' So much then for tapping. The next process is the boiling, 
and this every raiyat does for himself, and usually within the limits 

M, HA 19 



290 HANDBOOK OP AGRICULTURE. 

of the grove. Without boiling, the juice speedily ferments and be- 
comes useless ; but once boiled down into gur, it may be kept for 
very long periods. The juice is therefore boiled at once in large 
pots placed on a perforated dome, beneath which a strong wood- 
fire is kept burning, the pared leaves of the trees begin used among 
other fuel. The juice, which was at first brilliant and limpid, be- 
comes now a dark brown, half viscid, half solid mass, which is called 
gur (molasses), and when it is still warm, it is easily poured from the 
boiling pan into the earthen pots (small gharras) in which it is 
ordinarily kept. 

" As it takes from seven to ten seers of juice to produce one 
seer of gur or molasses, we can calculate the amount of gur which 
one ordinarily good tree can produce in a season. We may count 
four and a half months for the tapping season, or about sixty-seven 
tapping nights. These at 5 seers each, produce 335 seers of 
juice, which will give about 40 seers or 1 maund of gur. A 
bigha of grove containing 100 trees will therefore produce Es. 200 
to Rs. 225 worth of gur if all the trees are in good bearing. 

* ' It is not all sorts of pottery which will bear the continuous 
hard firing required for boiling down the juice and some potters 
have obtained a special reputation of the excellence of their wares 
in this respect. The whole of the region about Chaugachha and 
Kotchandpur is supplied principally from a village, Bagdanga, a 
little west of Jessore, where the clay seems to be of an unusually 
good quality. The southern part of the district, again, is supplied 
chiefly from Alaipur, a bazar near Khulna. 

" A raiyat, after boiling down his juice into gur 9 does not or- 
dinarily do more ; it is then sold to the refiners, and by them manu- 
factured into sugar. Near Keshabpur, however, a large number 
of raiyats manufacture their own sugar and sell it to the exporters 
only after manufacture. There are also in almost all parts of the 
district a class of refiners different from those who are refiners and 
only refiners by profession. These are the larger raiyats in the 
villages, many of whom combine commercial dealings with agri- 
culture. They receive the gur from the raiyats in their vicinity 
and sometimes also purchase it in adjacent hats, and aftet manu- 
facturing what they thus purchase, they take their sugar to some 
exporting mart and sell it there to the larger merchants. 

' ' We shall now see what the process of manufacture is. But 
there are several methods of refining, and two or three sorts of 
siigar produced. We will take them in order, and describe first the 
method of manufacturing * dhulua sugar that soft, moist, non- 
granular, powdery sugar, used chiefly by natives and specially 
in the manufacture of sweet-meats.' 

" The pots of gur received by the refiner are broken up and the 
gur tumbled out into baskets, which hold about a maund each and 
are about fifteen inches deep ; tfce surface is beaten down so as to 
be pretty level and the baskets are placed over open pans. Left thus 
for eight days, the molasses passes through the basket, dropping 



THE DATE-SUGAR. 291 

into the open pan beneath and leaving the more solid part of the 
yu,r y namely, the sugar, in the basket. Gur, in fact, is a mixture of 
sugar and molasses, and the object of the refining is to drive off the 
molasses which gives the dark colour to the gur. 

6 ' The eight days' standing allows a great deal of the molasses 
to drop out, but not nearly enough ; and to carry the process fur- 
ther, a certain river weed, called Shyala* which grows freely in the 
Kabodok especially, is placed on the baskets so as to rest on the 
top of the sugar. The effect of the weed is to keep up a continual 
moisture, and this moisture, descending through the sugar, carries 
the molasses with it, leaving the sugar comparatively white and free 
from molasses. After eight days' exposure with shyala leaves, 
about four inches are cut off and shyala applied on the newly 
exposed surface. This and one other application will be sufficient 
to purify the whole mass. 

* * The sugar thus collected is moist, and it is therefore put out 
to dry in the sun, being just chopped up so as to prevent it caking. 
When dried it is a fair, lumpy, raw sugar, and it weighs about 30 
per cent, of the original mass, the rest of the gur having passed off 
in molasses. Dishonest refiners can get more weight out of it by 
diminishing the exposure under shyala weed, so as to leave it only 
five or six days, instead of eight. The molasses is less perfectly 
driven out and the sugar therefore weighs more. Of course, 
it has also a deeper colour but this is in a measure remedied by 
pounding under a dhenki. There are also other dishonest means 
of increasing the weight, for example, the floors of the refineries 
are sometimes a foot or more beneath the level of the ground 
outside, the difference representing the amount of dust which has 
been carefully swept up with the sugar when it is gathered up after 
drying. Also, it is very easy to break the pots so that fragments of 
them remain among the sugar. 

' ' The first droppings, gathered in the open pan in the manner 
described above, are rich in sugar, and are used, especially in the 
north-west, for mixing up with food. It entirely depends, therefore, 
upon the price offered for them for the purposes whether they are 
sold at once or reserved for a second process of sugar manufacture. 
In this second process the first droppings are first boiled and then 
placed under ground in large earthenware pots to cool/ Unless 
thus boiled they would ferment, but after being boiled in this 
fashion they, on cooling, form into a mass somewhat like gur but not 

* This is Vallisneria verticillata. All kinds of aquatic weeds going by the 
name of Shyala, other weeds have been sometimes used by mistake in place of 
Vallisneria verticillata, only with partial success. Vallisneria octandra (pato- 
shyala) and Geratophyllum verticillatum (jhanji), which are occasionally used 
for this purpose, do the bleaching only imperfectly. The subject needs to be 
worked up scientifically, as probably it is not merely the continuous presence of 
the moisture gradually washing away the glucose that is so effective hi making 
brown-sugar white. The author has tried bleaching the gur by keeping over it 
wet sponges but failed, and he has found the Vallisneria verticilldia possessing 
the bleaching property in a more marked manner than the other aquatic weeds 
mentioned above. 



292 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

nearly so rich. After this, the previous process is again gone 
through, and about 10 per cent, more weight in sugar is obtained. 
This sugar is, however, coarser and darker in colour than the first. 
' ' The refiner is not very honest and if he is sure of finding im- 
mediate sale, he will use a much more speedy process. Taking the 
cooled gur he will squeeze out the molasses by compressing the mass 
in a sack, and then, drying and breaking up the remainder, will 
sell it as sugar. It does not look much different from that prepared 
in the more elaborate fashion, but it will likely soon ferment and 
hence the necessity of finding an immediate purchaser. 

" The remainder, after all this sugar has been squeezed out, 
is molasses, chitiya gur, as it is called. It forms a separate article 
of commerce. 

" The sugar produced by the method just described is called 
dhulua sugar, a soft yellowish sugar. It can never be clean, be- 
cause it is clear from the process used, that whatever impurity there 
may originally be in the gur, or whatever impurity may creep into 
the sugar during its somewhat rough process of manufacture, must 
always appear in the finished article. Another objection to it is, 
that it leads slightly to liquefaction, and cannot therefore be kept 
for any considerable time. 

4 ' The ' pucca ' sugar is a much cleaner and more permanent 
article. It has also a granular structure, which the dhulua has not. 
The manufacture of it is more expensive than of the other, and the 
price of it when finished is about Rs. 10, whereas dhulua costs only 
about Es. 6 per maund. 

' c In this process the gur is first cast upon flat platforms, and 
as much of the molasses as then flows off is collected as first droppings. 
The rest is collected, put into sacks and squeezed, and a great deal 
of the molasses is thus separated out. The sugar which remains 
behind is then boiled with water in large open pans, and as it boils, 
all scum is taken off. It is then strained and boiled a second time 
and left to cool in flat basins. When cool it is already sugar of a 
rough sort and now shyala leaves are put over it, and it is left to 
drop. The result is good white sugar, and should any remain at 
the bottom of the vessels still unrefined, it is again treated with 
shyala. 

' The first droppings, and the droppings under shyala leaves, 
are collected, squeezed again in the sacks, and from the sugar left 
behind, a small quantity of refined sugar is prepared in exactly 
the same way by twice boiling. The droppings from the sacks are 
chitiya gur, and are not used for further sugar manufacture. 
About 30 per cent, of the original weight of the gur is turned out 
in the form of pure pucca sugar. 

' ' There remains to be described the English process of refine- 
ment used in the factories of Kotchandpur and Chaugachha. In 
this, the raw material is mixed ^ith a certain amount of water and 
boiled in open cisterns, the boiling being accomplished, not by fire, 
but by the introduction of steam. The lighter filth now floats to 



THE DATE-SUGAR. 295 

the surface and is skimmed off, while the boiling solution is made 
to flow away through blanket strainers into another cistern. After 
this it is boiled to drive off the water. Now, if the mass were raised 
to boiling temperature, the result would be sugar, granular indeed 
in structure, but not differing in this respect from native pncca 
sugar. But if the water be driven off without raising the mass to 
boiling point, then we get the crisp and sparkling appearance which 
loaf-sugar always has. Whether there is any difference in the sub- 
stances, I do not know, but so long as people prefer what looks plea- 
sant and nice, sugar of this sparkling appearance will command a 
higher price in the market. 

66 The object is attained by boiling in a vacuum pan, that is 
to say, a large closed cistern from which a powerful pump exhausts 
the vapour as it rises. The lower the atmospheric pressure on the 
surface of any liquid, the lower the temperature at which ebullition 
takes place. The pump is therefore regulated so as to diminish 
the pressure on the surface to meet a point that the mass will boil 
at about 160F. and the apparatus being kept regulated to this point, 
all the water is driven off by boiling by means of introduced steam, 
without the temperature becoming higher than 160. 

"It is out of place here to describe the mechanical devices 
for filling and keeping filled and employing and watching and test- 
ing the liquid within the closed cistern, or for regulating the supply 
of heat and the action of the pump, which is driven by steam. It 
is sufficient to pass at once to the end of the vacuum pan stage, which 
lasts eight hours, and to say, that the mass in the pan is now run 
off into sugar-loaf moulds, which are placed upside down, having a 
hole in their vertex, placed above a pot. The molasses by its own 
weight drops out by this hole and is caught in the earthenware pot 
beneath. 

c ' The last of the molasses is washed out in the following man- 
ner. The uppermost inch of the sugar in the mould is scraped 
off moistened, and put back. The moisture sinks through the mass 
and carries with it in the molasses. This is done some three times 
and then the sugar having now been twelve days in the moulds, the 
purification is considered to be finished, and the loaves may be turned 
out of the moulds. If the raw material used was the gur as it 
comes from the cultivator, the result is a yellowish, sparkling loaf- 
sugar, but if dhulua sugar is the raw material used, then the loaf 
is of brilliantly white sugar. 

c c The process used at Cossipore, near Calcutta, is similar to 
that last described. The principal difference consists in this, that 
the sugar is at one stage additionally purified by being passed 
through animal-charcoal, and that the molasses, instead of being 
allowed to drop out by its own gravity from the moulds, is whirled 
out by the application of centrifugal force." 

Chitiya gur is used for mixing with tobacco, and the cleaner 
and sweeter molasses for preparing cheap native sweets out of fried 
and parched rice and pop-corn. There is considerable demand for 



294 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

chitiya gur and molasses in India, as about 18,000 tons of molasses 
are annually imported into this country from Mauritius or 
Java. 

A most interesting experiment has been undertaken by the 
Khandwa Sugar Manufacturing Company in the manufacture of 
date-sugar in the Central Provinces, and as the author of this hand- 
book has been associated with this experiment, he is able to furnish 
the latest figures, which differ somewhat from those given by Mr. 
Westland, but the conditions of the Jessore and the Central Provinces 
date plantations are entirely different, and the following figures 
are not by any means intended to discredit those supplied by Mr. 
Westland, but rather to supplement them. 

In the Khandwa experiments, for every circle of 5,000 trees 
30 seolis or professional juice-collectors and ten labourers are em- 
ployed, the former being paid Rs. 12 and the latter Rs. 6 per month. 
The tapping and gw-making season lasts for four months and the 
expense per circle of 5,000 trees, is, therefore, 4 x (30 x 12 x 10 x 
6)~Rs. 1,680. Extra expenses come to about Rs. 220, making 
the total Rs. 1,900 per circle. 

The average produce of juice per tree is three seers per day for 
the days in which they are tapped. In the Khandwa experiment, 
four days of rest are allowed after two days of tapping and even 
then the yield of juice per tree comes to only six seers for six days 
(including the quiescent days). Each seoli takes up a circle of 120 
trees, 40 going to a mahal or section, and the 120 trees are thus 
divided into three sections. After taking the jiran and do-kat juice 
on each mahal, he goes on to the next mahal, and so on to the third, 
returning to the first mahal after giving it rest for four days. Each 
tree is tapped about 40 times during the four months, and the pro- 
duce of juice per tree is therefore 120 seers or 3 maunds, and the 
30 seolis are able to gather 30 x 120 x 3 maunds of juice. As about 
8 maunds of juice go to make 1 maund of gur, the annual yield of 

30 x 120 x 3 

which per circle is ^= 1,350 maunds, the money value of 

o 

gur is about Rs. 4,000. The net profit per circle is therefore 
nearly Rs. 2,000 per annum. 



CHAPTER LXI1. 

SUGARS. 

[Groups of sugar ; Sacoharometer ; action of dilute acids on sugar ; use of the pola- 
riscope ; the copper test ; beet -sugar ; general principle underlying sugar 
manufacture.] 

SUGARS may be classified under two groups, glucoses and 
sucroses. Honey is a mixture of glucoses, consisting of two con- 
stituents, dextrose (C fl H ia O e H 8 0), which is the more solid portion, 
and lvulose (C 6 H 19 6 ) which is the more liquid portion. Cane- 
sugar (C ia H, a ()) and maltose (C ta H M O tl ) are sucroses. 



SUGARS. 295 

Dextrose occurs also in grapes, and in many juices of plants and 
it is therefore called grape-sugar. It reduces an alkaline solution 
of cupric hydrate giving a red precipitate of cuprous oxide (Cu 2 0), 
while cane-sugar does not do so unless it is first heated with a 
dilute acid. This reaction is made use of in estimating the amount 
of dextrose present in liquids. All sugars are soluble in water 
and less so in alcohol. Laevulose resembles dextrose except in 
its action on polarized light. Dextrose rotates the plane of pola- 
rized light to the right hand and laevulose to the left hand. Dex- 
trose and laevulose are not so readily crystallized as cane-sugar 
is, and the molasses of cane-sugar and other raw sugars contain 
dextrose and laevulose. These glucoses being hygroscopic sub- 
stances absorb moisture from damp air, which accounts for gur 
and dhulua sugar running in the rainy season and good Cossipore 
Factory sugar remaining dry. Impurities in the form of glucoses 
and ash constituents prevent crystallization of cane-sugar more 
or less. One part of glucose prevents one part of cane-sugar from 
crystallizing and one part of ash prevents five parts of cane-sugar 
from crystallizing. Unripe cane, maize-stalks and sorghum-stalks 
contain less cane-sugar and more glucose. A properly ripe cane 
contains about 80 per cent, of water, 16 per cent, of cane-sugar, 
*3 per cent, of glucose, '75 per cent, of ash, and about 3 per cent, 
of albuminoid matter. 

Baume's Saccharometer is graduated to indicate the amount 
of sugar in a saccharine solution, each degree on the scale repre- 
senting 0*019 per cent, of sugar, so that a liquor registering 10 
would contain *19 per cent, of sugar. Syrups when hot are .about 
3 degrees lighter than when cold and the saccharometer is standar- 
dised at 84F. The Brix hydrometer can be used as a saccharo- 
meter, as it gives the percentage of solids in solution directly. 
In clarifying and in boiling sugarcane juice the use of a copper- 
case thermometer is essential. One registering from to 300F. 
is the best to use. 

Dilute acids convert cane-sugar into a mixture of dextrose 
and laevulose. Cane-sugar rotates the plane of polarized light to 
the right and a mixture of equal parts and dextrose and leevulose 
to the left. Sugar is therefore said to be ' inverted ' by dilute 
acids. Sugarcane juice is naturally somewhat acid, and hence in 
the boiling process some cane-sugar is inverted into glucose. The 
only dilute acid which does not invert the sugar liquid is 
phosphoric acid ; hence this acid is used along with milk of lime 
in clarifying the liquid. The addition of slaked quicklime for 
neutralizing juice before boiling, is of the highest importance. 
But just sufficient lime should be added to neutralize the acid 
or else the colour of the sugar produced will be too dark. 

Maltose is produced naturally in germinating barley. Ger- 
minating barley dried and digested with water at about 60C. 
p&ts with its malt-sugar which can be obtained from the solution 
by boiling it down. 



296 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

The difference of action of polarized light on different kinds 
of sugar is a principle utilized in factories for testing the purity of 
sugar or sugarcane juice, with the help of an instrument called 
polariscope. It consists of two prisms of transparent calcite 
(Iceland spar) enclosed in a tube, between which the saccharine 
solution is introduced. Light passing through the outer prism, 
the saccharine solution and the inner prism, traverses a layer of 
transparent quartz so adjusted that the rotation caused by the 
sugar-solution can be detected and measured. The rotatory power 
of cane-sugar is 73*8 to the right, and it may be found out by ob- 
serving a column of saccharine solution, 1 decimetre in depth, 
containing 1 gramme of pure cane-sugar in every cubic centimetre 
of fluid. To get the rotation of any sample from this observed 
rotation, divide the former by the depth of the column of fluid 
multiplied by the weight of the sugar in each cubic centimetre of 
liquid. Thus, if a solution of 0*25 gram of sugar in each cubic 
centimetre of fluid has an observed rotation of 25 in a column 2 
decimetres in depth, the rotatory power of the sample is 2 -J ^ ~ 50. 
The percentage of cane-sugar in the sample would thus be (73 '8 : 
50:: 100 :x) 10 -^^ = 6'77. If no invert-sugar is present, the 
proportion of sugar present in the juice or solution can be found by 
multiplying the rotation of the solution as observed by the polari- 
scope by 100 and dividing the product by 73*8. 

The presence of invert-sugar is detected by the copper test. 
Cane-sugar does not give the characteristic red precepitate of 
cuprous oxide (Cu 2 0) from alkaline solution of cupric tar- 
trate, while glucose does. To estimate the proportion of glucose 
present, a standard solution is used. This is Fehling's solution. 
It consists of 90| grains of sulphate of copper, 364 grains of neutral 
tartrate of potash, 4 fluid ounces of caustic soda of specific gravity 
1'12 and water to make up 6 ounces. In using this standard solu- 
tion it is brought to the boiling point and a known weight and 
volume of solution of glucose dropped into it from a burette until 
the copper has been just reduced which is known by the blue colour 
being destroyed. The precipitate is then filtered, dried and 
weighed, the difference between its weight and that of the sugar 
used in the solution gives, the percentage of cane-sugar. The 
quantity of sugar lost in reducing the copper being glucose, the 
residue is sucrose. Fehling found that one equivalent (180 parts) 
of glucose decomposed 10 equivalents (1246'8 parts) of sulphate 
of copper. 

Sugar is made not only from date-palm juice, sugarcane and 
beet. It is also obtained from maize-stalks, stalks of sorghum 
saccharatum, cocoanut and toddy-palm juices, and other plants. 
In America the maple-tree is largely tapped for a sugar-yielding 
juice. Coal-tar, from which so many fine dyes and other articles 
of economic value are obtained, is the source of a highly swe % et 
substance called saccharine. One tabloid of saccharine scarcely 



SUGARS. 297 

so large as a two-anna piece, will sweeten a cup of tea. But this 
substance has no feeding value like genuine sugars. Milk is also 
a source of sugar. After cream and cheese have been extracted 
out of fresh milk, the whey from the cheese- vat is forced into a 
large boiler, whence after a time the liquid is run into an evapo- 
rating pan, where the boiling is continued until a thick syrup is 
formed. This syrup is left standing for a time and again boiled 
when the sugar forms. The sugar is pressed and the molasses 
rejected, and then packed in barrels for the refinery. 

Beet-sugar is largely manufactured in Germany and Austria, 
and it is competing very successfully with cane-sugar. Good 
roots of beet yield on an average one-eighth of their weight of 
sugar, but one-sixth has been also obtained, of late years. The 
proportion of sugar is materially increased by phosphatic manures 
and by selection only of middle-sized roots for seeding. Middle- 
sized roots which are white, are alone grown for crushing for sugar. 
In 1876 the average produce of sugar from an acre of beet (i.e., 
from 10 tons of roots) was estimated at 2,000 Ibs., while in 1896 
the average rose to 3,000 Ibs. per acre and the tendency is towards 
further amelioration. It should be noted, however, that 3,000 
or 4,000 Ibs. of sugar per acre is considered a poor yield for 
sugarcane, and 8,000 Ibs. or even more are often obtained. 
Though chemists have not been able to find any difference between 
cane-sugar and beet-sugar, manufacturers do not consider them 
identical. For the condensed milk trade beet-sugar has been 
found altogether unsuitable. 

The Superintendent of the Saharanpur Botanical Gardens has 
made an interesting experiment on the cultivation and manufac- 
ture of beet-sugar. He came to the conclusion that the white 
sugar-beet can be easily introduced as a cold weather crop in India. 
The yield per acre was 9J tons of roots, 6 tons of green leaves, 4J 
tons of juice, and 13 cwts. of gur, of which about half the quantity 
may be put down as pure cane-sugar. Mr. Proudlock, late of 
the Ootacamund Botanical Garden, also reports favourably of 
sugar-beet growing. 

With regard to the manufacture of sugar by a scientific 
process, the following general summary may be remembered : 

(1) The first object after the juice has been obtained in the 
fresh state either from beet, sugarcane, maple, or palm is to 
remove the albuminoid substance, which is favourable to the 
growth of the microbes which turn sugar acid. Acidity c inverts ' 
cane-sugar and prevents proper crystallisation. The ash or non- 
saccharine substances also prevent crystallisation. Hence the 
great importance of clarifying before boiling. The temperature 
of the juice at clarifying should be between 125 and 145. In 
any case it should not be allowed to go above 160F. 

(2) The clarifying is done by adding to the hot cane-juice 
just enough of slaked June or some other alkali, by stirring, which 
would neutralize the juice which is naturally acid. The albuminoid 



298 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

matter combining with lime sinks. For clarifying, about half a 
tola of slaked lime per ghara of juice will be found ample. Thus 
clarified and neutralized, the juice should be filtered through double 
flannel bags and then boiled, the impurities floating as scum on 
the boiling mass, being taken off. When thick, the brown sugar 
is put in casks or earthen pots in which holes are afterwards made 
to get rid of the molasses. 

(3) To get rid of the molasses more quickly and thoroughly 
it is advisable to use a sugar-turbine. A hand sugar-turbine of 
centrifugal machine is sold by Messrs. Mylne and Fox of Behea, 
for Us. 200.* When the molasses have run out, brown crystals 
are left behind. These are mixed with warm water into a syrup, 
lime is added to it, and the mixture is poured into bags made of 
thick woollen cloth and left to drip through into a vessel below. 
The liquid though clean is still coloured, and it is made colourless 
by passing it through a bed of bone-charcoal. This colourless 
syrup is then put in large copper pans and boiled. When thick 
enough it is poured into moulds after which we get loaf-sugar. 
The moulds are placed with their small pointed end downwards. 
Here there are some small holes. Part of the syrup which does 
not harden flows out into a vessel underneath. This is called 
' golden syrup.' 

Evaporation in a vacuum apparatus, which results in more 
sparkling crystals, and the separation of molasses by a centrifugal 
apparatus, are the two specialities of the factory system as distin- 
guished from the cottage system of making sugar, but the Indian 
cottage system of making raw sugar may be improved. If the 
preliminary neutralizing and clarifying of the sugarcane juice 
is very carefully done, and aluminium vessels or earthen handies 
used, the second filtering through bone-charcoal will not be found 
necessary. Any excess of lime tends to make the sugar brownish 
grey in colour. Finally, we may add, that for Indian use; Mr. 
Hadi's method seems to be particularly adapted. 



CHAPTER LXTIT. 
INDIGO. 

[Varieties ; Introduction of the Java Natal variety ; Climate and soil suitable ; 
Manures ; The crisis ; Different systems of cultivation ; Manufacture ; Oxidis- 
ing process ; Indigo tests ; Synthetic indigo likely to replace natural indigo.] 

Varieties. The variety of indigo grown in Bengal (i.e., In- 
diyofera sumatrana, ordinarily known as Indigofera tinctoria is not 
the richest in India, and the Madras variety Indigofera anil is still 
poorer. The variety richest in 4 the dye-stuff is the Indigofera 

* For large factories, the Western Centrifugals obtainable of the American 
Tool and Machine Co., 109, Beach Street, Boston, Mass., are recommended. 



INDIGO. 299 

arrecta of Java and Natal. The Indigofera arrecta has been 
introduced with success in Behar. A dry climate, such as that 
of the United Provinces and soil naturally rich in lime, should be 
chosen at least for seed-farms for indigo. With the Java-Natal 
indigo, harvesting and Mahai (or manufacture) can go on all 
the year round. 

Manure. Indigo, like all leguminous crops, grows best on 
soils rich in lime. Hence the superior yield of some Bihar districts. 
Potash and phosphates in the soil are also helpful. The appli- 
cation of manures containing phosphates, lime and potash in a 
concentrated form is being thought of seriously by indigo planters, 
since the crisis in the trade has been brought about by the in- 
creased employment of the synthetic indigo. Mr. Hancock, the 
Agricultural Chemist employed by the Bihar planters for some 
years, reported an increase of 63 per cent, in one case and of 140 
per cent, in another, by the application to such manures. 

The Crisis. The crisis in the indigo trade has been brought 
about in various ways : (1) The quarrel between indigo planters 
and raiyats on the one hand, and zemindars on the other. (2) 
The extension of indigo cultivation in the United Provinces, the 
Punjab (specially in the canal-irrigated tracts of these provinces) 
and in Madras, and the consequent competition which reduced 
the price to the lowest level. (3) The passing of the industry 
into Indian hands almost everywhere except in Tirhut, which 
has resulted in inferiority of produce. (4) The manufacture 
of the dye by a synthetic process in Germany. With regard 
to the unwillingness of cultivators to grow indigo, it should be 
mentioned that the growing of this crop instead of impoverish- 
ing their land actually makes it better fitted for the growing 
of cereals, and if an amicable arrangement can be come to with 
cultivators by which they can be made to grow indigo willingly 
on one-fourth or one-sixth of their land in rotation, it would be 
of mutual advantage to the planter and the cultivator. It should 
be also remembered that indigo refuse is one of the best fertilizers 
there is. Many factories burn the refuse for feeding engines, 
which is a great mistake. Some fast-growing tree, such as the 
Casuarina, should be grown for fuel, and the indigo refuse utilized 
for manure. The progress of the synthetic dye has been so rapid, 
that it is not likely that the indigo-growing industry will survive 
very long, though by the introduction of the Java-Natal variety 
and superior methods of oxidation introduced in many factories, 
the evil may be put off for a time. 

Cultivation. I n alluvial soils and in land annually renovated 
with silt, indigo cultivation is very inexpensive. Simple cultiva- 
tion after the water has gone down followed by broadcast sowing, 
is all that is required. No irrigation is done in such tracts. In 
Patna, Gaya, Shah,abad and parts of Chota Nagpur, indigo is 



300 HANDBOOK OF AGBICULTUBB. 

grown by irrigation, as also in the United Provinces and the Punjab. 
In Tirhut, Saran and Champaran, i.e., in North Bihar, a very 
careful system of cultivation is practised, which includes digging 
the land deep immediately after harvest. The seed is drilled 
with a seed drill, next season, on land well prepared by ploughing 
and rolling with a wooden roller, and the fields are hoed and irrigat- 
ed when necessary. High class cultivation is practised on elevated 
lands in some parts of Bengal also, e.g., in Jessore and Nadia. 
Pruning or feeding the crops for a day by sheep and goats is also 
practised in some localities. The best indigo is produced in high- 
lands under a careful system of cultivation. The spring-sown 
crop yields the best dye, but as cultivators are eager at this time 
to sow aus paddy which is directly more remunerative, it is not 
always convenient to get a large tract sown in spring. So far 
as our experiments have gone at Sibpur, we find it is immaterial 
whether aus paddy is sown in April or in May, or in June. In 
fact, April sowing of indigo is far more important than April sow- 
ing of aus paddy, as the latter is risky. 

When Falguni sowing is done on highlands (i.e., in February 
or March) the land must be thoroughly prepared by manuring 
with nil-siti, deep ploughing, rolling and ploughing, and rolling 
again. Sowing is done by a drill after which the land is again 
rolled. In three or four days the seed germinates. One or two 
weedings are then given until the plants are sufficiently high. The 
Falguni indigo is grown where there is facility for canal irrigation. 
In dry soil sowing goes on in July to September, and the crop is 
cut in September or October. The second year's crop from early 
sowings and late sown indigo crop are called Khuwti. October 
sowing (chhitani) is done on char lands after the water has subsided 
and when the land is quite soft, without any preparation, but later 
on in October, sowing is done in higher land after ploughing and 
laddering when there is still sufficient moisture in the soil. October 
and April are the two usual seasons for sowing indigo. With 
indigo sown in October is usually grown some oilseed which yields 
the raiyat an additional Rs. 6 or Rs. 7 per acre, and October sowing 
of indigo is, therefore, not so unpopular with the raiyat as the April 
sowing. Ten to fifteen seers of seed are required per acre. Thirty 
to forty bundles (a bundle weighing about 300 Ibs.) is the produce 
per acre and the yield of dye about 12 Ibs. per acre. In Lower 
Bengal the average yield is 10 to 12 Ibs. per acre and in Bihar 
20 Ibs. acre. Indigo is ripe for cutting when the flowers are just 
appearing, i.e., about June or July, if sowing is done in February 
to April. The arrangements for manufacturing being completed, 
cutting begins. The lowest lying fields are chosen first. The 
crop is cut with sickles and tied into bundles, and as the crop 
is bought at so many bundles (say 4 or 5) per rupee, when it is 
cultivated by raiyats and sold to the factory, a chain of a definite 
measure is used in each factory. 4 But different factories use 
chains of different lengths. 



INDIGO. 301 

Manufacture. The bundles of plants are put in fresh in the 
steeping vat, wal^r is poured upon them, and they are pressed by 
means of bamboo rods and heavy beams of timber. The bundles 
remain in this condition for one night. There are two sets of vats. 
The second set is at a lower level than these steeping vats, and 
when steeping has been completed in the first set, the yellowish 
liquid containing the dye is drawn off from it into the second set. 
Here, twice the number of men employed in pressing the bundles 
is employed inside the vats in stirring up the liquid with bamboos 
to oxygenate it. When the liquid has changed from a yellowish 
colour to indigo colour the stirring is completed. From these 
stirring vats the liquid is run off along a channel into a trough or 
well, whence it is pumped up into the first drying house, where 
it is subjected to boiling. From here the thickened liquid is dis- 
charged on a stout cloth spread on a platform of bamboo laths. 
The water percolating out is pumped up again and again on the 
mass of soft dye until the water percolates out, not indigo 
coloured but of a dark red tint. If it takes too long alum water 
or palas gum is used, when the indigo is readily deposited. 
The cloth is then folded over and pressed. The press is 
tightened every now and again for five or six hours and afterwards 
gradually and gently loosened, and the cake, which is about 42 x 
24J x 3| inches in dimension, exposed. This cake is then marked 
off into 3 or 3|-inch square blocks, and the slab on which it 
rests removed to another room where the cutting and removal 
of the cakes from the slab are accomplished, the cakes being 
removed on the drying or cake-house, which is a well- ventilated 
room protected from dry and hot winds. The cakes are arranged 
in bamboo shelves and turned from side to side that every side 
may get equally dry. The cakes are removed when quite dry to 
a sweating room, where walls of cakes are made and covered with 
blankets and dry bran, and the doors closed, so that little air 
may find access into the room. In about a fortnight the 
sweating process is completed when air is let in slowly and 
the walls of cakes uncovered by degrees, the blankets being 
removed in four to five days. The process of sweating improves 
the brilliancy of the dye, and it giyes a white skin to the cakes 
which is highly appreciated by buyers. The whole process 
of drying from the time the pressing of the fecula or pulp takes 
place, requires about three months. The cakes are brushed wher 
ready for packing and packed into cases of well-seasoned wood 
Improvements in the manufacture of indigo have been Jatel} 
brought about by Mr. Christopher Eawson and by Mr. B. Coventry 
who, by proper method of oxidizing, have obtained an increased 
yield of 25 per cent, or more. With the help of Mr. Eawson '* 
blower for oxidizing the liquid as it comes from the steeping vat 2i 
to 30 per cent, more of colouring matter has, in some cases 
been obtained. With the ordinary appliances, Bihar factor! 
obtain about 10 seers of indigo (60 per cent, purity) out o 



302 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

every 100 maunds of green plant, and with the blower 12 seers 
are sometimes obtained. The indigotin is contained in the leaf, 
and the weight of leaf on plants may be as much as 60 per cent., 
or as little as 10 per cent. The leaf of the Indigofera sumatrana 
of Bihar yields about *55 per cent, of indigotin, which is equivalent 
to 36 seers of indigo out of 100 maunds of leaf. Taking an 
average good plant to contain 40 per cent, of leaf, 100 maunds 
of green plant would yield 14'7 seers of indigo (60 per cent, 
purity). As 12| seers may now be obtained with the help of the 
blo'wer, it may be inferred that it is possible by proper fermenta- 
tion or otherwise to obtain another two per cent. 

Pure Indigo Tests. Whether a fabric has been dyed with 
pure indigo or with some inferior dye, can be judged by the fol- 
lowing tests : (1) Put two or three drops of ordinary commer- 
cial nitric acid on some portion of the fabric. A yellow spot with 
a green rim quickly appears if the dye is pure indigo. (2) Make 
a mixture of one part sulphuric acid, and nine parts of water, and 
in it boil quickly for ten minutes a piece of the cloth to be tested, 
say 1| inches square. Care must be taken always to pour the acid 
gently into the water and not the water into the acid. If the cloth 
has been dyed in pure indigo, the solution will remain colourless. (3) 
Dissolve about 1 oz. of common washing soda in half a pint of 
water and gently boil in it for 15 minutes a 1J inches square piece 
of cloth. If the dye used is pure indigo the liquid will remain 
colourless. 

The artificial indigo of commerce, manufactured by several 
large factories in Germany, is almost pure indigotin, containing 
no indigo red, and no indigo brown, which is a disadvantage, as 
these substances have some beneficial effects in dyeing. But 
artificial indigo is likely to supplant natural indigo in the long 
run, when the defects of the artificial product will have been 
supplied by artificial means. Woollen fabrics dyed with natural 
indigo may be distinguished from those dyed with artificial 
indigo by holding the two fabrics over steaming water. The one 
dyed with vegetable indigo will emit an agreeable odour, while the 
chemical indigo will give out a tarry smell. For silk, the natural 
indigo still produces better results than the synthetic product, 
but we cannot hope that this advantage will be maintained for 
ever. 



TOBACCO. 303 

CHAPTEK LXIV. 
TOBACCO. 

[Soil and climate suitable ; Differences in quality ; Proximity to sea unsuitable 
for cigarette tobacco ; Chemical composition ; Inference as to manures useful ; 
Rotation ; Seed-bed ; Preparation of land ; After-treatment ; Harvesting ; 
Drying and fermenting; Different methods of cultivation and curing in 
vogue in Rangpur, Jalpaiguri, Nadia, Tirhut and Petlad ; Seeding ; Outturn ; 
Injuries ; Suggestion for improvement ; Arrangements made at Pusa.] 

Soil and climate. A light soil or sandy loam, well drained, 
containing an average amount of organic matter and rich in 
mineral matters is considered to be best suited for tobacco cultiva- 
tion. Grown on clay soils, the leaf becomes too coarse and inferior in 
quality, but clay soils usually give heavier yields. Sandy loams, 
rich in organic matter, produce a better sort of tobacco of the kind 
fit for making cigars. The principal tobacco-growing districts 
of Bengal, in their order of importance, are, Eangpur, Cooch Behar, 
Jalpaiguri, Purnea, Darbhanga, Myrnensingh, Nadia, Muzaffarpur, 
Jessore, Manbhum, Murshidabad, Dinajpur, Chittagong, Dacca, 
Tippera, Bhagalpur, Pabna, Monghyr, and Cuttack. The Chitta- 
gong Hill Tracts produce the best tobacco in Bengal. This is 
generally used for making cigars by the Burmese. There are 
three varieties : (1) Khao Doung, (2) Mri Kheoung, and (3) 
Bigre Kheoung. The excellence of these varieties of tobacco 
is said to be due to the speciality of the soil rather than to any 
peculiar mode of cultivation or of curing. The leaves are cured 
in the way in vogue in Rangpur and Jalpaiguri. The Chittagong 
tobacco sells for Rs. 20 or more per maund, while the Rang- 
pur tobacco sells from Rs. 6 to Rs. 12 per maund. The tobacco 
of other districts enumerated above is sold at Rs. 3 to Rs. 7 per 
maund. Ignorance of the method of cultivation and of curing 
causes in many places inferiority in the quality of leaves, but the 
difference in flavour is no doubt also due to difference in the kind 
of tobacco grown, to influences of the soils, and to climate. The 
best cigar-making tobacco cannot be grown too close to the sea, 
as chlorides are injurious for such tobaccos, i.e., they interfere 
with the burning quality of the leaf. 

Chemical Composition. Tobacco requires particularly good 
soil and heavy manuring, as it is richer in nitrogen and in mineral 
constituents than almost any other crop. The composition of the 
leaves varies very much in both nitrogenous and ash constituents 
according to the richness of the soil or the amount of soluble plant 
food contained in it. The amount of nitrates in leaves may be 
as much as 10 per cent, of the dry matter. The ash of Indian 
tobaccos varies between 16 and 28 per cent., the greater part of 
which consists of carbonate of lime. The soluble portion of the 
ash chiefly consists of potash salts, the proportion varying from 
five to thirty-five per cent. 



304 



HANDBOOK OF AOBIOULTUBB. 



The following table gives the chemical composition of a sample 
of Virginian tobacco : 



Moisture 

Nicotiu 

Ammonia 

Nitric acid ... 

Malic acid ... 

Citric acid ... 

Oxalic acid ... 

Acetic acid 

Tannic acid ... 

Petic acid ... 

Pectose bodies and gums 

Albuminoids 

Total Nitrogen 

Amid Nitrogen 

Other insoluble organic matters 

Cellulose 

Oils, fats and chlorophyll 

Resins 

Starch 

Total pure ash 

Silica and sand 

Phosphoric acid 

Sulphuric acid 

Chlorine 

Lime 

Magnesia 

Oxide of iron & alumina.. 

Potash ... 

Soda 



9-44 
452 

53 

'83 

12-05 

2'81 

3'18 

55 
1-80 
718 
3'61 
11-92 
2-75 

61 

6'87 

1022 

5-90 

4-51 

64 

1364 

3'78 

38 

56 

74 
3-94 
1-04 

46 
2-60 

13 



Potash should occur chiefly as carbonate (or ordinary wood 
ash) in the soil, and the richness of a soil for tobacco is chiefly due 
to the abundant presence of nitrogen, potash and phosphoric acid 
as nitrates, carbonates, sulphates and phosphates. From this it 
will appear that the most appropriate manures for the tobacco 
crop are ashes (or crude potassium carbonate), saltpetre, gypsum 
and superphosphate. But as manuring is expensive, soils natur- 
ally rich in nitrogenous and ash constituents, that is, very fertile 
soils, should be chosen for growing this crop. 

Rotation Tobacco is sometimes grown after jute or maize 
has been harvested but very often it forms the only crop of the 
year. Properly manured, it can be grown for three or four years 
successively on the same ground, and it can be grown nearly 
all the year round. 

Sort-bed The soil of the seed-bed is dug up with a spade and 
manured with rotten cowdung and ashes and then raised about 
six inches. When the ground has been well pulverised and levelled, 
seed is drilled thin, so that the seedling may have about one inch of 
space around it. After sowing, the seed is lightly covered up with 
earth. The seed-bed is kept covered with mats until germination 
takes place. It is necessary also to keep the seedlings protected 



TOBACCO. 305 

from rain and heat of the sun. They may require to be watered at 
intervals of two or three days. Seed is generally sown in the first 
week of September or earlier in Bihar and Chota Nagpur. In dry 
laterite soil it is best to do the sowing early, i.e., about the second 
or third week of August. Half an ounce (1J tola) of seed is to be 
sown to produce plants required for one acre ; but loss invariably 
occurs owing to patches of seedlings growing too thick. It is 
therefore advisable to grow seedlings from one ounce of seed for one 
acre of land. Sometimes ants do considerable damage to seed 
and seedlings, when ashes sprinkled round and over the seed-bed 
prove efficacious. Loosening the soil of the seed-bed between 
the lines of seedlings is important. 

Preparation of land The soil for tobacco-planting should be 
prepared during the months of September and October. Eight to 
ten ploughings are necessary. Deep cultivation and thorough 
pulverisation of the soil are most important. The soil should be 
liberally manured with well-rotted cowdung and ashes. It is then 
to be levelled with a light harrow. It is needless to say that even 
poor soil can be made to produce a good crop by proper tillage and 
heavy manuring. Soils destitute of potash, unmanured soils, or soils 
manured with flesh, bones, calcium chloride, magnesium chloride, 
or potassium chloride, produce a bad burning tobacco which is 
unsuitable for making cigars. The use of cowdung also should 
be avoided in raising tobacco for the manufacture of cigars. Pot- 
assium carbonate, saltpetre, potassium sulphate, and calcium 
sulphate (gypsum) are the best manures for tobacco intended 
for cigars. They give to the leaves a sweet flavour and burning 
quality. Gypsum is excellent as a top-dressing and its use is par- 
ticularly recommended to Indian cultivators. Crops manured 
with it suffer less from the effects of drought and require less 
irrigation. Gypsum is a bye-product in the manufacture of aerated 
waters and can be obtained very cheap from these factories at four 
to eight annas per maund, but it should be used with an equal 
quantity of lime mixed with it, as the bye-product is liable to 
be acid. The mineral manures are used generally from 2J to 4| 
maunds per acre. Ordinary household ashes also are an 
excellent manure for tobacco. They contain a large amount 
of potash and lime, and are particularly recommended for clay 
and humus soils. 

Transplanting When the seedlings are about three inches 
high in the nursery, that is, after they have shown three or four 
leaves, which takes place within six weeks from sowing time, they 
are fit for [transplantation. The transplantation begins in the 
beginning fof Aswm (the third week of September), and extends 
as late as the end of Kartik (middle of November). Early plant- 
ing is- preferable, especially for dry climates. The seedlings should 
be planted in the evening, three feet apart from one another. 
Smaller varieties, as Hingli, Motihari, etc., may be conveniently 
M, HA 20 



306 HANDBOOK OP AGRICULTURE. 

planted two feet apart. The transplanted young seedlings are to 
be carefully watered for the first few days until they strike root. 
Irrigation may be afterwards necessary at intervals of about ten 
to twenty days according to the nature of the soil. In Eangpur 
and Jalpaiguri a hand-plough is repeatedly dragged by a man alter- 
nately along and across the tobacco fields, which serves the 
purpose of hoeing and stirring the soil. This is done until the 
flower buds are seen. In places where artificial irrigation is 
required, regular hoeing is wanted once after each irrigation or 
twice a month. 

After-treatment. A few days before the plants run to flower, 
their buds and lower leaves should be nipped off, and they should be 
so pruned that only eight leaves, and on no account more than 
ten, may be left to each plant from the top. In Jalpaiguri finely 
powdered earth is used to stop bleeding or overflowing of sap from 
the broken parts immediately after pruning. This mode should 
be followed in other districts. Plants reserved for seeding should 
not be topped in this way, but left to flower and seed. The plants 
always bring forth shoots by the side of the stalks of leaves pruned, 
and care should be taken to prune off the shoots every now and 
again until the leaves are mature. The longer these buds and 
shoots are kept the more injury is done to the leaves required to 
be gathered. 

Harvesting. When the leaves feel thick and gummy and 
begin to turn yellow with brown spots, they are considered mature 
and they should be cut off. Tobacco should not be cut over-ripe. 
Harvesting of a plot should not be done at once : the mature plants 
are to be gathered first. The best time for harvesting is morning, 
as soon as the dew is off the plants. They should lie for some time 
in the sun, say for two hours, to make them sufficiently wilted, 
90 that they can be handled without breaking. Care should be 
taken not to let them become too much sun-burnt. It is better 
to cut whole plants (close to the roots) than gather the leaves 
singly. Harvesting should be delayed for two or three days if 
there be heavy rainfall, which washes away the gummy matter 
of the leaves. 

Drying and fermenting Immediately after the plants are con- 
veyed to the house, they should be hung up on strings beneath 
the roof of a well- ventilated house, six inches apart. Cowsheds are 
comtaonly used by the raiyats for this purpose, but this gives 
a bad flavour to the tobacco. The plants should remain hanging 
for more than two months, or until they are quite dry. When 
very hot or strong winds blow, the windows and doors of the house 
should be closed. In very dry weather, the floor of the shed should 
be occasionally sprinked with water, in order to keep the air of the 
room sufficiently moist. In June, *when the rains commence again, 
the plants are taken down, stripped and handled. Best, medium 



TOBACCO. 307 

qualities should be separated at the time of stripping. 
Sixteen to twenty leaves are tied up into one bundle. These are 
put into large heaps, three to four feet square by five to six feet 
high, and well pressed down with the hands. The leaves are trans- 
ferred from one place to another at intervals of about a week or 
so ; fresh heaps being made, top leaves going to the bottom and 
bottom leaves coming to the top. This transference also involves 
examination of the leaves. Care should be taken to prevent ex- 
cessive heating, 90F. being the maximum limit. At the end of 
the rains the leaves are considered to be fully cured and quite 
ready for sale. The heap may be broken up earlier, if so 
desired. 

Methods of curing in vogue in different parts of India. The modes of 
curing differ in the different districts ; and it would be well to 
cite here the systems of curing in Eangpur, Jalpaiguri, Nadia, 
Tirhut and Petlad, which are some of the typical seats of tobacco 
cultivation. 

Mode of curing in Rangpur and Jalpaiguri. The methods of curing 
followed in Rangpur and Jalpaiguri are almost the same. 
The leaves of mature plants are cut off singly in the morning, and 
are left in the sun for all day long. In the evening small bundles 
of four leaves are suspended along the roof of the house generally 
a cowshed. After two months, i.e., about the middle of June, 
they are taken down. Eight small bundles are then tied up into 
a larger bundle. Leaves are not sorted according to their quality, 
though the tobacco-growers are aware that the topmost leaves are 
the best. The bundles of leaves are then put into a large heap. 
The bundles are taken out and dusted and the heaps re-made at 
intervals of eight or ten days, until the tobacco is wanted for sale. 
It is best to keep on the heap till about the close of the rainy 
season. Tobacco thus kept is said to bring higher prices. 

Mode of curing in Nadia. " When cut, the^ stems with leaves 
on them are allowed to remain spread ouft in ttye sun for two hours. 
They are then cut into pieces, each of whicft contains a pair of 
leaves and portion of the stem. These pieces are then arranged 
on the ground in layers of nine to ten inches thick, and are allowed 
to remain in the sun for two days. Bain, of course, at such a time 
is most destructive. Tobacco in this half-dried state is taken 
home by cultivators, who string the sections together, and sus- 
pend them on rows of strings in the longest apartment of their 
premises, usually the cowshed. The leaves after being thus sus- 
pended for about a month are thoroughly cured. They are then 
taken down on a damp or foggy day when they are a little soft, and 
made into bundles of about 1| maunds weight each, the strips of 
leaves being cut into lengths of about a yard, and folded over and 
laid one on another. The above description relates to the Hingli 
tobacco of Eanaghat ; the inferior sorts appear to be merely made 



308 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

up into bundles and subjected to the alternate action of sun's ray 
by day and of the dews at night."* 

Moth od off curing In nrhut'' Plants are allowed to be on the- 
ground as cut, for a day or two ; they are then carried to some 
grassy spot and laid out to catch the sun during the day, and 
the dew at night, being turned daily. After this has gone on for 
eight or ten days, every third or fourth day the plants are stacked 
together till they get heated, when they are again spread out 
to cool. If at this time the dew is thought not sufficient to cool 
the plant, at evening time a little water is scattered over the leaves 
as they lie ; this goes on for twenty days or more. The plants are 
then brought into cover and stacked ; they are changed every 
third or fourth day, the top going to the bottom, and so on. It i& 
important now to prevent them getting over-heated : if the leaves 
show a tendency to get crisp, the leaves are covered with plantain 
leaves or damp grass, over which is put a blanket to make the 
heap sweat. The leaves are then separated by khurpi or huswa 
from the stem. They are then tied five or six together with strips 
of date leaves and piled together. These piles are again watched 
carefully till it is evident that the leaves will not heat any more. 
They are then tied up in bundles of four maunds each, wrapped round 
with a straw, and are then fit for the market ; if not immediately 
sold, they are stowed away in some dry place. If the leaves are 
not of a good colour, the cultivator may, before opening them for 
sale, get a little good tobacco, boil it and sprinkle the juice over 
them after the last process of drying ; but this is more a trick of 
the trade than a method of curing which being really nothing 
more than careful alternative of heat and moisture, no extraneous 
matter is introduced, "f 

Method of cultivation and curing in Petlad. The tobacco cultivation 
of Petlad in the Baroda State is perhaps the most famous in 
Western India and a description of this may be of interest. 
The variety grown is the Havana tobacco introduced here about 
a hundred years ago. For 1 bigha (100 cubits x 100 cubits) Ib. 
of seed is generally sown in the seed-bed, though J Ib. is sufficient. 
A reserve of seedlings is kept to allow for any contingencies. Sow- 
ing is done in July. If there is no rain at the time, every third day 
the seed-bed is watered. Too much rain is injurious for seedlings. 
The seedlings are transplanted when they have five or six leaves 
each, i.e., when about 4 inches high. The transplanting is done 
in August (in MagM nakshatra) in cloudy or showery weather, 1 ft. 
apart in well-ploughed-up and manured soil. Four or five plough- 
ings are given in May and 30 cart-loa4s (per local bigha) of dung. 
Then the land is brought to a perfectly level state by the use of the 
levelling board. After transplanting, interculture with bullock-hoes 

* Vide Collector of Nadia's Report, *1874. 
t Vide Collector of Tirhut's Report, 1874 



TOBACCO. 309 

is resorted to when one inch of the surface soil is dry, after 
the rains are over. When there is rainfall again another bullock- 
hoeing is given. From October or November irrigation com- 
mences, which goes on twice every month up to February. Pick- 
ing of tips and side-shoots begins in December, when plants have 
fifteen or sixteen leaves each, at intervals of ten days, each plant 
being thus picked four or five times. The cutting of leaves, or 
harvesting, begins in March. For five days they are left in the field, 
after which, early in the morning when there is still dew on them, 
they are removed in bundles of forty or fifty leaves. If the leaves 
are too dry and there is no dew on them, water is sprinkled on the 
leaves before removal. One hundred bundles of forty to fifty leaves 
ach are put in each stack, and the bundles are daily transferred 
for thirty days, from top and bottom to middle and from middle to 
outside. After this for another month, or half a month, i.e., until 
they are sold, the position of the bundles is changed once in three 
days. In each stack there should be put leaves only of one day's 
cutting. The system here described applies only to the curing of 
chilim tobacco or snuff-tobacco. For bin or cigarette tobacco, 
or tobacco used for chewing raw, the cut leaves are left on the 
whole field for fifteen days, after which, on a misty day, they are 
removed. If there is no mist, water must be sprinkled before re- 
moval. The whole of the leaves are stacked together and their 
position changed only once in 15 to 20 days. After two or three 
transfers, the tobacco is sold off. The yield obtained is 32 to 40 
maunds per local bigha, which sells for Rs. 5 to Rs. 8 per maund, 
a Baroda maund being about half a maund of standard weight, 
i.e., 41 Ibs. 

Seeding The best plants are set aside for seeding. They are 
not topped like others, but the side shoots and suckers are re- 
moved from the stems, only the heads or tops of the plants being 
preserved for seed. The heads are tied to sticks to keep them 
straight. As soon as the seed is ripe the heads of plants are cut 
off and hung in a dry and safe place. After a few days the seed 
is rubbed out of the .pods by hand and stored. The seed should be 
preserved from damp and insects, and it is therefore usually hung 
up in the cook-room. The vitality of the seed can be tested by 
scattering some on a piece of hot iron. If a sharp spattering sound 
is given out, the seed may be considered to be sound. 

Outturn. A well-grown crop is expected to yield from 20 to 
24 maunds of cured leaves per acre, the money value of which 
may be estimated at Es. 100 to Ks. 120, Rs. 5 being the average 
price per maund of country-cured tobacco. 

Injuries The chief enemy of the tobacco crop is a kind 
of Noctuid caterpillar which eats away the leaves at night and 
takes shelter in the soil by day. This caterpillar or cutworm causes 
serious damage to the youngjplants. It should be carefully looked 



310 HANDBOOK OP AGRICULTURE. 

for and killed when any injury from this source is noticed. There- 
is an aphid also causing curling of leaves which does great damage 
to this crop. Hailstorms often destroy the crop over large areas 
of the country. 

Suggestion for improvement As native chilim tobacco is un- 
fortunately going out and cigarettes taking its place, the method 
of curing must be altered. For cigarette-making leaves not fully 
mature should be cut, and the fermenting in heaps done in such 
a light manner that the colour may remain yellow and in parts 
green. Small-sized leaves with golden colour make the best cigarette 
tobacco. The ordinary native tobacco is too much fermented 
and is too dark and brittle. The following paragraphs are taken 
from the Englishman newspaper : ' ' It would be well worth con- 
sidering the possibility of growing the famous Yenidge and Dubec 
tobacco so much in demand for cigarettes and for which such high 
prices are paid. This is grown extensively in the Bulgarian and 
other principalities, as well as in Turkey proper. All the so-called 
Egyptian cigarettes are made from tobacco grown outside of 
Egypt, better known as Turkish tobacco. The best cigarettes are 
made in Egypt and not in Turkey itself, and this is ascribed to 
the dry equable climate of Egypt preventing the deterioration 
that ensues when such climatic conditions are not assured. We 
have in Aden the same conditions, a rainless region, and on a 
small scale cigarette-making has for some time been carried on 
there which, with certain conditions assured, might rapidly expand, 
specially if such tobacco could be supplied from India. 

* European method of curing. " When the leaves of the tobacco 
plant are mature and ready for harvest, they are gathered and 
first laid on the ground to wilt, that is, to wither ajid lose their 
brittleness. This done, they are collected into bundles and packed, 
top upwards, into moderate size heaps to sweat. Matting is placed 
over the heaps and a gradual rise of temperature begins. The 
increase in temperature is due to certain processes which are taking 
place within the leaves, whereby, as the leaves die, their more com- 
plex contents become broken down into simpler ones, with an 
evolution of heat and water. The water thus given off is in vapour 
form, but it condenses again on the cooler matting covering, and 
it is the presence of this water which gives rise to the idea of the 
heaps * sweating.' Care and attention is needed at this time to- 
prevent over-heating, for did the temperature rise unduly, there 
would be darkening of the leaves and injurious drying. When 
the ' sweating ' is completed, the leaves are dried, either slowly by 
simple exposure to currents of air, or rapidly by artificial heat. 
Mouldiness and consequent rotting must be guarded against, and 
then, if all the conditions are favourable, in six or eight weeks the 
leaves will have turned a bright warm brown colour, though tobacco* 
at this stage lacks aroma and flavour. The chief result of this 
process has been to effect a further alteration in the constituents- 



PAN OR BETEL LEAF. 311 

of the tissues of the leaves. After it is completed, moist air is 
again brought into play to soften the leaves and render them 
pliant, and it is not till then that they are ready for the process 
of fermentation. 

Fermentation has always been looked upon as a very important 
stage in the preparation of tobacco ; but if bacteriologists are 
right, eyen greater stress must be laid upon it, for it is the key- 
stone of the whole and of paramount importance. As a prelimi- 
nary to it, the brown leaves are sorted and made up into hands, 
or small bundles, containing, perhaps, from six to ten leaves a- 
piece. All these separate bundles are collected and piled up into 
great heaps or solid stacks a stack containing sometimes as 
much as fifty tons of tobacco. Directly the stacks are completed, 
fermentation begins, encouraged by the warmth and moisture 
within, and now, too, begins the production of aroma and flavour 
accompanied by a considerable rise in temperature. But heating 
is carefully checked before it has gone very far by a continuous 
turning of the stack inside out and * side into middle,' no tem- 
perature higher than 90 degrees Fahr. being allowed." 



CHAPTER LXV. 
PAN OR BETEL LEAF (PIPER BETLE). 

[Profitableness of the crop: Varieties; Midnapur, the district where the best pan* 
are grown ; Soil ; General principles of cultivation ; Setting up a pan garden ; 
Subsidiary crops; Repair; Diseases; Picking of leaves; Calculation of cost; 
Outturn.] 

Varieties. The pan crop is probably the most important garden 
crop in India and is one of the most profitable of all crops, and as 
the knowledge of the cultivation of this crop is almost confined to 
the baruis, and is considered a secret by ordinary cultivators, a 
few notes on the method adopted by the baruis in Bengal 
may be of interest. The three main varieties are Deshi, Sanchi, 
and Mitha, but there are some special sub-varieties, such as 
A^nta'a-Bantul, Ujani (Backergunge), Maghai, Karpurkath, which 
are specially appreciated by the connoisseur. The finest pan is 
grown at Bantul half-way between Ulubaria and Midnapur and in 
the Contai subdivision of the Midnapur District. 

Soil. High land above inundation level is necessary, as 
stagnant water is most injurious to this crop. Black friable clay 
loam resembling tank earth, containing a large proportion of 
organic matter, is the soil ordinarily chosen, but the best pans are 
grown at Bantul on light loam slightly reddish in colour, ^e 
soil should be rather moist though high, and some of the best pan 
gardens of Backergunge actually get about six inches of water at 
high tides during the rainy season. But when the flood is higher 
the damage done is very serious. 



312 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

Cultivation in the ordinary sense is not required for pan, 
hence the proverb Bina chashe pan, i.e., no cultivation for pan. 
Being a perennial creeper grown in moist soils with plenty of 
manure, under shade, and the planting being done in the rainy 
season, watering after planting being done when necessary, it 
naturally requires no irrigation except in dry regions. A garden 
when once established will go on yielding crop after crop for ten 
to thirty years. 

Preparation. After selecting the site for the baroj or garden, 
shrubs and trees growing on it are uprooted, or burnt down, and 
a trench is dug round it, the earth dug out being spread on the 
land chosen to raise it a few inches above the surrounding land. 
At Bantul they believe in spading the soil to a depth of eighteen 
inches, pulverizing the soil very fine, and levelling it, before putting 
on the roof. The frail roofing and fencing have the object of 
securing shade, evenness of temperature and security from high 
winds, which are essential conditions for the successful cultivation 
of this crop. Rows of bamboo or other substantial posts are planted, 
about seven feet remaining above ground. Over these are placed 
dhaincha or jute stalks and sometimes a light thatch of ulu-gra,ss 
is also put above the dhaincha or jute stalks. The baroj is fenced all 
round with the same materials. Each row, of cuttings is planted 
between two lines of uprights at intervals of six inches between the 
cuttings. The cuttings are taken from plants two years or more old. 
They are cut into lengths of twelve to eighteen inches containing 
five or six joints each, of which two are buried in the earth, and the 
portions left above ground are made to recline on the surface. 
These are then covered with date leaves and watered if necessary, 
every morning and evening until they strike root and put forth 
buds. The planting time extends from May to November. Planting 
cuttings in nurseries and then transplanting are also practised. 
As the vines grow, one or two jute or dhaincha sticks are stuck 
into the ground close to each other, the upper ends reaching the 
roof. The vines are tied to these supports with ulu straw or 
dhaincha fibre. When the plants reach the roof they are bent 
down and when sufficiently long a lump of earth is put on the 
stem which is thus secured to the ground, and the bud end bent 
upwards and tied to another support. This process is repeated, 
and there are usually three bending downwards in the year. Every 
time a plant is trained in this way two or three mature leaves are 
cut away from where the bending downwards and upwards takes 
place. In putting earth along the base of the creepers from the 
two sides the land gets divided into ridges and furrows, the plants 
growing on ridges, while the walks alongside them are in furrows. 
Dried and pulverized pond mud, dried and powdered cowdung 
and powdered oil-cake, are used each time earthing is done. Castor- 
cake is said to be injurious to pan pknts, and mustard-cake alone 
is used in Bengal. Brick-dust is also as a manure. During the 



PAN OB BETEL LEAF. 



313 



dry months watering has to be done constantly, but stagnant 
water in barojes should be avoided at all seasons. 

Gourds and pumpkins are usually planted round barojes to 
give additional shelter and profit. The roofs and fences have to be 
changed every third year. 

This is the method in vogue in Bengal : that adopted in the 
drier regions of India is very different, and an account of this 
latter by Mr. R. S. Hioremath will be found in the Agricultural 
Journal of India (1908). 

Fungus and insect pests and snails do great damage in pan 
plantations. Fumigation and hand-picking of insects and snails 
can alone be suggested, Sulphur or chlorine fumigation can be 
done in the case of fungus pests, but to keep off moths, etc., 
cowdung cake smoke is sufficient. 

When planting is done in July, in Bengal, plucking commences 
in October and when planting is done in October, plucking com- 
mences in May. After plucking has once commenced, two pluck- 
ings are made every month. Two to four leaves are received 
each time from each plant and in the rains four to six leaves. All 
the leaves from an old stem are cut away after a new bent has 
taken root. One acre of land yields about 80 lakh pern-leaves per 
annum, besides inferior leaves from side shoots which are, as a 
rule, nipped off, except those kept for making cuttings. For five 
years the plants are in full bearing, after which there is a tendency 
for the yield to fall off. The leaves, after being brought home in 
baskets, are sorted and counted by the female members and 
arranged in bundles of puns or hundreds. 

Cost per acre 

1st year 

Rs. A. P. 
Purchase of 500 bamboo posts and wooden (Jiwol) posts 7 cubits in 

length, for the support of roof and for fence 
Purchase of cane or cocoanut fibre rope for tying 
Bamboo slips (long strips) 
Dkaincha stalks 
Ulu for thatching 

Purchase of cuttings @ Rs. 2-8 per 1,000 
12 maunds of mustard-cake 
Baskets 

Dhenki for crushing oil-cake 
Cost of cutting channels and spreading earth 
Ploughing and pulverising soil 
Coolies for planting, thatching, roofing, and f encing 
Coolies for plucking leaves, earthing and manuring 
Rent 

2nd year 

Purchase of bamboos, betel-nut posts and dhaincha stalks 
Cane or coir-rope 
36 maunds of mustard-cake 
Ulu 
Wages of the permanent labourers for plucking leaves, earthing 



Rent 



manuring 





40 










7 










50 










25 










15 










50 










15 










1 










3 










5 










6 










36 










288 










10 










100 










4 










45 










20 








an 


d 








288 










10 









Carried over ... 1,018 



314 



HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 



3rd 

Purchase of 150 bamboo posts, 7 cubits long 

Slips of bamboo and betel-nut trees 

Cane or rope 

Ulu 

36 maunds of mustard-cake 

Wages of the permanent labourers 

Rent 



Brought forward 



Rs. A. P. 
1,018 O 

6 O 

50 

3 O 

300 

45 

288 

10 



Total of three years, Rs. ..1,423 0- 

Every fifth year the expense is increased as the thorough 
overhauling of the baroj is required. The total expenditure in 
ten years is about Rs. 4,600, and the average per annum about 
Rs. 460. 

Out-turn. Taking 3,000 leaves per rupee as the average price 
of pan, the out-turn at 80 lakh leaves per annum may be estimated 
at about Rs. 2,500. Allowing half this amount for damages due 
to insect and fungus pests and accidents, the gross income may 
be safely put down at Rs. 1,200 or Rs. 1,300 per annum. 



CHAPTER LXVJ. 

BETEL-NUT (ARECA CATECHU). 

L Whore principally grown ; The mandar grove ; Seedlings ; Planting ; Gathering 
of nuts ; Magnitude of the industry ; The betel-nut plague.] 

THIS is grown as a regular crop in the districts of Backer- 
gunge, Noakhali and Tippera. The seedlings and young plants 
are grown in these districts under a papilionaceous tree called 
mandar (Erythrina Indica). It enriches the soil and gives the 
'seedlings and young trees the necessary protection from high 
winds and scorching rays of the sun. The plantation of mandar 
is made in this way : Branches about 6 ft. long are planted in 
February or in April (not March), in rows twelve to fifteen feet 
apart each way. After two or three ye^rs, on high lands, and four 
to six years inflow lands, the plantation is ready for the betel-nut 
seedling. 

The betel-nuts are sown in October or November, the seeds 
being deposited four to five inches apart. The seed-nurseries are 
either close to the homestead in shady places, or if conveniently 
situafed, they are made in the mandar groves themselves. The 
transplanting is usually done after two years, sometimes three or 
four years. In high lands the transplanting is done in July and 
in low lands in February or April. In the first transplanting, the 
betel-nut seedlings are planted equi-distant from the mandar trees, 
i.e., twelve to fifteen feet apart. But another transplanting takes 
place when the first trees have come into bearing. Before this 
is done the mandar trees are cut * down or only a fringe left 
around the circumference of the grove. The betel-nut trees in a 



CAMPHOR, TEJPATA OR CINNAMON. 815 

fully planted grove are about six to seven feet apart each way. 
A certain amount of irregular planting goes on every year as 
vacancies occur, and in many gardens plants, big and small, can 
be seen every two or three feet apart. 

The regular flowering season is February and the plucking 
season October and November. The flowers forming in January 
will ripen fruit in October and those forming in March will fruit 
in December and January. The fruiting begins in the sixth or 
seventh year, but in crowded plantations not usually before the 
tenth year. The trees put out in the plantation, when the first 
plants are in bearing, do not fruit for twenty years after planting. 
Old betel-nut lands replanted with betel-nut trees after the usual 
preparation of planting mandar, etc., do not begin to bear for 
twenty ^years after replanting. A plantation is in full bearing 
after thirty years. The fruiting life of a tree may be put down at 
30 to 60 years and the total life 60 to 100 years. Occasional top 
dressing with tank earth or other earth and hoeing or clearing of 
jungle are all the operations necessary after the plantation has 
been once established. According as the soil is clayey or sandy, 
an average of eight or fifteen maunds of betel-nuts per kani (5 
bighas 4 cottas), a crop worth about Rs. 100 is obtained per annum, 
without much trouble. The crops of large gardens are sold by 
auction, and the owners have not even the trouble of plucking the 
nuts. Plucking has to be done with the help of expert labourers 
who can jump from one tree to another without getting down and 
climbing again. 

The magnitude of the betel-nut industry of Backergungc 
and Noakhali may be inferred from the fact that from these two 
districts 30 to 40 lakhs of rupees worth of betel-nuts are exported 
annually to Calcutta. 

The betel-nut crop is subject to a severe fungoid plague' which 
has been the subject of recent investigation. Nothing definite 
is as yet known regarding the nature of the disease and its remedy. 
It seemed at one time to threaten the very existence of the betel- 
nut tree in Bengal, but the disease spent itself, and it is now seen 
only in an endemic form. 



CHAPTER LXVII. 

CAMPHOR, TEJPATA, AND CINNAMON. 

CAMPHOR (Cinnamonum Camphora).~The healthy manner 
in which two rows of these trees are growing at the Sibpur Bota-- 
nical Garden leads one to expect that there may be a future for 
the camphor-extracting industry in Bengal. 

The camphor tree is found in China, Japan and some of the 
adjacent islands, including Formosa and the Loochoo islands. 
It grows wild on hill-sides and well-drained valleys where the 



.316 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

rainfall is abundant in summer. It is an ever-green tree, which 
is not able very well to stand frost, belonging to the laurel tribe, to 
which also belong cinnamon and tejpdtd trees. It attains a height 
of 60 ft. and more, and the trunk attains a diameter of twenty 
to forty inches. The leaves are broadly lanceolate and acuminate 
at both base and apex. The tree has been successfully introduced into 
Madagascar, South America, Egypt, Italy and France. The soil 
best adapted for growing this tree is sandy or loamy soil which 
is not inclined to be wet. Manured properly, it grows rapidly 
and attains a height of 30 ft. in ten years. The berries of the tree 
are eaten by chickens and other fowls, and the wood of the tree 
.affords a valuable timber for ornamental works. Irrigation is 
needed to keep the seedlings and young trees alive in places where 
the rainfall during the summer months doe not exceed fifty inches. 
It is easily propagated from seed, also from cuttings. The seeds 
should be collected in October and November, dried and kept 
packed up in dry coarse sand until sowing time in May or June. 
The soil of the seed-bed should be of the usual character, i.e., 
sandy loam mixed up with about one-third leaf-mould. The 
seed-bed should be kept covered up with mats in the usual way, 
and it should not be allowed to get too dry. The soil-temperature 
should not be over 75F. at the time of germination, though the 
external temperature may be as high as 85F. The conditions 
favourable for the propagation of camphor trees can be secured 
in some places of Northern Bengal, in Assam, and in the lower 
hills generally throughout Northern India and in Mysore (where 
some trees are growing in a healthy manner). The seedlings will 
grow at a higher temperature than 85, but the plants in that case 
will be lacking in vigour. The seedlings may be grown in pots 
for one to two years until they are ready for transplanting to fields 
or hill-sides. They are ready for transplanting when they have 
attained a height of 20 to 40 inches. They should be planted 
20 ft. apart, and after 5 years another lot of seedlings may be 
planted in between the rows, so that when the plantation begins 
to be used for the distillation of camphor after 10 years, one lot 
of plants may replace an older lot. Trees may be cut down when 
they are 10, 12, 15 or 20 years old, according to their growth and 
he thickness of the plantation. If space can be allowed for a 
ree to grow uninterruptedly for 20 years, it is best to use it after 
;his period ; but younger trees may be lopped if the growth is 
:hick. The largest proportion of camphor being contained in 
uhe older and larger roots and diminishing proportion in the trunk, 
branches and leaves, it is necessary finally to dig out the entire 
;ree to get the maximum yield of camphor. Even leaves and 
Swigs, the distillation of which is neglected in China and Japan, 
yield for every 80 Ibs. about 1 Ib. of crude camphor. 

The trees are felled with the axe and the larger roots duly 
cut. They are then cut into chips, ahd the fresh chips put in a 
oonical wooden trough, 40 inches deep and 20 inches in diameter 



CAMPHOR, TEJPATA, AND CINNAMON. 317 

at the broader base. The bottom of the trough is perforated and. 
fitted on to an iron pan of water set on a masonry furnace. The 
trough has a tight-fitting but movable cover, which is removed, 
for emptying the trough of chips and putting in a fresh quantity 
The trough is surrounded by a layer of earth six inches thick to 
keep the temperature inside it as uniform as possible. A tube,, 
usually made of a bamboo, extends from the top of the trough 
to a condenser, which consists of one wooden trough being placed 
on another, the lower one containing wat^r, and the upper one, 
which is placed in an inverted position, as a sort of cover to the 
lower one usually containing clean rice straw on which the cam- 
phor crystallizes. The lower trough is larger than the upper 
trough, so that when the former is two-thirds full of water, the 
edges of the latter are just below water. A continuous flow of 
water is kept up from the upper part of the covering trough, the 
excess running out from a hole at the top part of the side of the 
lower trough. ' The camphor oil floats on the water inside the 
lower trough, and the camphor crystallizes in the rice straw with 
which the upper trough is filled or floats in the water at the lower 
trough along with the oil. After the stream has carried away the 
essential oil with it, it must not come in contact with metal of any 
kind, so the lid of the trough in which the chips are put, the tube 
leading to the condenser, and the whole of the condenser must be 
made of wood or other material but never of metal. One tub 
full of chips requires twelve hours distilling, 20 to 40 Ibs. of chips > 
yielding about 1 Ib. of crude camphor. 

The distillation of refined camphor out of the crude Japanese 
or Chinese camphor takes place in Europe. The European methods 
of refining are too delicate and complicated for description in a 
handbook of agriculture. 

Tejpdtd(Cinnamonumtamala and Cinnamonum obtusifolium). 
Though a native of the Himalayas, growing at an altitude of 
3,000 to 7,000 ft., this plant grows very well at Sibpur, in shady 
localities, and the tree is worth growing in moist and well-shaded 
places as the use of tejpdtd as a spice is almost universal in India. A- 
couple of small trees supply all the tejpdtd needed for one family. 
The tree should be propagated from seed imported from Sylhet. 
Seedlings should be grown in seed-beds, and in two or three years 
transplanted into fields 10 ft. apart. The leaves can be plucked 
after the fifth year and the tree goes on yielding for fifty or a hundred 
years. But as shed leaves are just as aromatic, if not more so 
than the green leaves, stripping of green leaves which weakens ~ 
the trees, is not necessary. 

The true Cinnamon tree from the inner bark of the twigs- 
of which the valuable spice is obtained, is the Cinnamonum Zeyla- 
nicum. This also grows at Sibpur. The bark of the twigs and 
roots of the Indian varieties may be scraped and dried and used 
instead of Ceylon cinnamon, which, of course, is the richest in 
aromatic properties. The oil obtained by distillation frojn cinnamon 1 



318 HANDBOOK OP AGRICULTURE. 

leaves and roots of all kinds is almost identical with clove- 
oil, consisting chiefly of eugenol or eugenic acid. The roots of 
Ginnamonum Zeylanicum, also of Cinnamonum tamala and Cinna- 
monum obtusifolium, yield some camphor, though the true camphor 
tree (Cinnamonum camphora) is different. 



CHAPTER LXVIII. 
OTHER SPICES. 

[Round pepper ; Jird ; Juan ; Rdndhuni ; El&chi.] 

BLACK or Round Pepper or gol-marich (Piper nigrum). 
Like pipul (Piper longum) gol-marich grows as a creeper and the 
habits of the two vines are very similar. As pipul is 
grown in many parts of Lower Bengal under the shade of mango, 
fack and betel-nut trees, the growing of gol-marioh under similar 
conditions may be attempted also in low-lying moist districts of 
Bengal. It grows in Assam, in Mysore, in Malabar, in Burmah, in 
China and in the Straits Settlements, and the attempt to grow it in 
the deltaic districts of Bengal is therefore likely to succeed. 
g| The propagation of the gol-marich and pipul vines takes 
place, as in the case of pan, by means of mature branches or suckers. 
The branches, shoots or suckers are layered, i.e., bent down into 
the ground, and when they take root they are severed from the 
parent vine and planted out in shade, and trailed on to trees. This 
is done at the beginning of the rainy season. The base of every 
vine is kept scrupulously clean and well manured with cowdung 
cake which acts also as a mulch. Three or four years after 
planting the vines begin to bear in the cold weather. 

The berries are brought down from the climbing vines with 
the help of a ladder. Black-pepper berries are boiled and dried 
in the sun before they are sent to the market. No preparation 
is necessary for the long pepper. Mr. Basu, Assistant Director 
of Agriculture, Assam, estimates the average yield from each vine 
of round pepper at one seer, valued at eight annas, 

Jira (Cuminum cyminum). Though this spice is in daily 
use, like round pepper, in every household, its cultivation is 
unknown in Bengal. The Jira seed of the bazar does not ger- 
minate, but as the plant is grown in the Punjab and Afghanistan, 
attempt may be made to obtain fresh seed and sow it in November 
or December in sandy loam soil, viz., such as is ordinarily preferred 
for growing anise, coriander, juan and wild celery (Rdndhuni). 
The crop has been successfully cultivated in Baroda, where after 
preparation of the land and irrigation, seed is sown in December. 

Rdndhuni, etc. The wild celery of Bengal needs no such careful 
tillage or attention as the European celery does. It occupies the 
field longer than coriander, anises, juan and other garden herbs ; 
that is, while the latter ripen in March, the former is not ready 



OTHER SPICES. 319 

before July. Five seers to half a maund of seed per acre is used, 
according to the size of the seed, more being required in the case 
of coriander and anise, than in the case of juan and rdndhuni. 
After manuring and cultivation the seed is broad-casted. A hand- 
weeding, accompanied by thinning, follows after the plants are 
^bout six inches high. No further notice is taken of the plants 
until harvest time, when the plants are cut, and when thoroughly 
dry, the seed is separated out by beating and winnowing. Five 
to fifteen maunds of seed are obtained per acre, the latter figure 
applying to coriander apd anise which are heavier yielders than 
juan (Carum copticum) and rdndhuni. Sulpa (Fumaria parviflora) 
is a semi-wild spice which is eaten also as a pot-herb. Like the 
other garden herbs mentioned, this also is occasionally sown, but 
it is oftener found coming up spontaneously along with the other 
spices, seeds of which usually contain a mixture of sulpa seed. 

Eldchi. There are two kinds of eldchis or cardamoms in 
common use as spice, the Bara-eldchi or the greater cardamom 
(Amomum subulatum), which is grown in the lower valleys of 
Bhotan and Sikkim, and the Chhota-eldchi, or the lesser carda- 
mom (Elettaria cardamomum), which is grown in moist soils in 
Western and Southern India. The plants are not unlike ginger 
plants, and they are perennial. The rhizomes go on growing 
from year to year, and new plants come up from them. The 
older the rhizome is, the larger the number of flowering and fruiting 
stems sent out. The fruit of the lesser cardamom is bleached 
with soap-nut (ritha) water and then starched. The larger carda- 
mom has been introduced with success in the district of Bogra. 

Propagation may take place either by means of bits of rhi- 
zomes, or from seed. Highly manured seed-beds and fields are 
needed. Protection from sun is needed by the plants, and from 
sun and rain by the seed and seedlings. The soil of the cardamom 
field should be moist all the year round, but not water-logged. 
In the valleys of Sikkim and Bhotan beds or fields are made along- 
side mountain streams, whence water is taken along narrow channels 
alongside of which the cardamom plants are grown on ridges. 
This arrangement secures constant moisture and freedom from 
water-logging. The shade of betel-nut gardens, easy of irrigation, 
might be utilized for growing eldchis. The seed may be sown on 
raised seed-beds in October, or the rhizomes planted in June or 
September on long and flat ridges through the middle of which 
water can. be made to flow down in a slow current throughout the 
dry season, keeping the ridges alongside constantly moist but 
never water-logged. 



320 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

CHAPTER LXIX. 

OPIUM (PAPAVER SOMNIFERUM). 

[Soil ; Maruires ; Rotation ; Seasons for cultivation ; Tillage ; Sowing ; Irriga- 
tion ; Thinning ; Weeding ; Harvesting ; After-treatment ; Cost ; Manufac- 
ture ; Trash ; Seed and Oil.] 

Soil. Heavy loam or sandy loam near a village site, rich in 
saltpetre, is preferred for this crop. The land should be close to a 
well, the water of which is known to be impregnated with nitre. 

Manures. Nitrogenous manures, such as well-rotted cow- 
dung (150 to 200 maunds per acre) and crude saltpetre (40 seers) 
are in general use for this crop. Cowdung cake (20 maunds), ashes 
(4 maunds), oil-cake (6 maunds), or lime (160 seers) per acre, are 
also used for top-dressing. 

Rotation. It usually follows maize or millet, the preparation 
commencing immediately after maize or millet harvest. 

Season. In the hills the opium season is from February to 
June and in the plains from October to March. 

Tillage. The land should be cultivated as often as possible 
and brought to a fine tilth before sowing. 

Sowing. The seed is sown mixed up with dry earth in Feb- 
ruary or October, as the case may be, usually broadcast, at the 
rate of 3 Ibs. per acre. Camphor-water steep should be used for 
this (as for all small and delicate seeds) before sowing, as a pre- 
ventive against blights and for hastening germination. 

Irrigation. As soon as the seed begins to germinate, i.e., 
in about a week after sowing, the field is divided by ridges into 
rectangular compartments, 8 ft. X 4 ft., the alternate ridges being 
made broader, as along them water is carried down into the fields. 
Watering should be done as soon as germination has taken place 
and re-sowing where germination has failed. Irrigation is carried 
on at regular intervals until the crop matures. 

Thinning. When the plants are two or three inches high 
they are thinned out. The thinning out of sickly plants is repeated, 
until healthy plants are left seven to eight inches apart. 

Weeding. This takes place along with thinning. 

Flowering. Seventy-five to eighty days after germination 
the plants flower. The petals (four in number) are carefully 
removed when fully expanded and matured, i.e., about the third 
day after the flower opens. These " flower leaves " are employed 
in the formation of the outer casing of the opium cakes. In another 
eight or ten days tha capsules are sufficient - developed for 
incision. From January to the middle of Marc? nd sometimes 
till later, extraction of the juice goes on in the i s. 

After-treatment. After the poppy is off / ', the land 

ia Allowed to lie fallow till the rainy weather y sown. 



OPIUM. 



321 



Cost of cultivation per acre : 



Eight ploughings 

Clod-crushing . . 

Seed.. 

Sowing 

Making water-beds 

Watering six times 

Four weedinga with thinning 

Harvesting (8 coolies at 2 as. a day for 

Manure 

Rent 





Ks. 


AS. 


p. 




6 













4 










2 










3 










3 







9 


8 







8 








15 days) 


15 










4 










10 









TOTAL 



48 4 



Products. The products and by-products of the poppy are : 
(1) Opium, or the inspissated sap of the unripe capsules. (2) Pasewa, 
i.e., the moisture and soluble ingredients which drain from the 
opium. (3) Poppy petals, already spoken of. (4) " Trash " or 
powder prepared from the dried stems and leaves. (5) Poppy 
heads or capsules. (6) Seed and oil. 

Opium. The capsules are lanced in the afternoon by the 
cultivator and the members of his family. Three small lancet- 
shaped pieces of iron are bound together with cotton, about ^th 
of an inch alone protruding, so that no discretion may be left, 
to the operator as to the depth of the wound to be inflicted. The 
incision is made from the top of the stalk to the summit of the 
pod. Each capsule is lanced three or four times and sometimes as 
many as eight or ten times before all the milk is drawn out of it. 
The drug is collected early in the following morning into small 
trowel-shaped scoops of thin iron. The opium is transferred to a 
metal or earthen vessel, and it is taken to the cultivator's house for 
further manipulation. The pasewa drains off and is kept in a 
separate vessel, and the opium is turned over by hand from time 
to time at intervals of not more than a week. When 25 to 50 
Ibs. have been collected, it is tied up in double bags of sheeting 
cloth. One healthy plant may yield as much as 75 grains of 
opium with five to eight scarifications and an acre 24 to 50 Ibs. 
An acre will yield 200 to 600 rupees worth of opium, the cultivator 
getting Us. 2-8 per Ib. 

Pasewa. This is the dark coffee-coloured fluid which collects 
at the bottom of the vessels in which the freshly-collected juice 
of the capsules is placed by the cultivators when it is brought 
home. The shallow vessels are filled to such a degree that the 
pasewa can drain off and be collected and sent in separately for 
weighment. It consists of the most soluble of the principles of 
opium dissolved in dew or in moisture. It contains meconic 
acid, resin, morphia, and narcotine. Pasewa is not present in 
opium collected during strong westerly winds or in the absence 
of dew. 

Leaves. The mature petals after being collected are spreatf 
in a handful at a time -over an earthen plate placed over a slow 

M, HA 21 



322 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

fire. They are covered with a moist cloth above, which is pressed, 
until the steam from the cloth, acting upon the resinous matter 
contained in the petals, cause them to adhere together. The thin 
cake of petals thus formed is turned over in the earthen plate, 
and the process of pressing and consolidation repeated on the 
reverse side. These thin sheets pasted together with lewd or 
inferior opium and pasewa, form the shell or outer casing of the 
opium exported to China. 

Trash. The pounded stems and leaves of the poppy plant 
when dry at the end of the season are used for packing the 
cakes. 

In the Government Factories the opium brought in by culti- 
vators is examined according to consistence, colour, texture and 
aroma, classified, mixed up, moulded into cakes and packed. The 
constituents of an average cake exported to China are : 

Standard opium .. .. .. 1 sr. 7*50 chtks. 

Lewa .. .. .. .. 3-75 

Leaves .. .. .. .. 5'43 ," 

Poppy trash . . . . . . 0'50 

One man turns out about seventy cakes a day. The cakes: 
require much attention and constant turning or else thev get 
mildewed. The mildew is removed by rubbing in dry poppy 
trash. Weak places are also strenghened by extra leaves. Bv 
October the cakes are dry to the touch and fairly solid when 
they are packed in chests furnished with a double tier of wooden 
partitions, each tier holding twenty cakes. Each case contains 
120 catties (160 Ibs.). This is the Chinese opium. What is in- 
tended for internal consumption is made in this way : It is 

hardened by exposure to the direct rays of the sun till it contains 
only ten per cent, of moisture. It is then moulded into square 
bricks weighing one seer each, which are wrapped in oiled Nepaul 
paper and packed in boxes furnished with compartments for 
their reception. This opium has not the powerful aroma of the 
* cake 'drug meant for China, but it is more concentrated and 
more easily packed. 

Seed and oil. After extraction of opium from poppy capsules, 
the ripe seed loses its bitter and narcotic principles, and it is then 
a wholesome article of diet. Poppy-seed is largely consumed 
cooked as an article of food. Even after the extraction of oil, the 
residue or oil-cake is eaten by poor people. Poppy-seed-cake is 
richer in phosphates than other cakes. The oil is pressed out 
when the seed is fresh, with an ordinary ghani, and it is clarified 
simply by exposure in shallow vessels, to the sun. Poppy-oil 
is used in Europe for making candles, soap, paint and artists' 
colours, also for cleaning delicate machinery. The average pro- 
duce of seed per acre is three maunds, and the yield of oil, when 
the seed is fresh, is thirteen seers per maund. One and-a-half 
seer of seed is sown per acre. The seed sqwn in Malwa is imported 
from Persia. 



TEA. 323 



CHAPTER LXX. 

TEA (CAMELLIA THEA). 

[Natural habitat and history ; Varieties ; Seed and seed-gardens ; Cultivation ; 
Picking ; Withering ; Rolling ; Firing ; Fermenting ; Cost ; Chemistry ; 
Black and Green teas ; Tea-seed.] 

THE natural habitat of the tea plant is the chain of hills which 
passes through Tippera, Lushai, Chin, Manipur, Naga, Patkai 
and Kamti, whence it has spontaneously distributed itself by 
natural means to the adjacent valleys and plains, east and west, 
altering in size owing to the changed climate and soil of the plains. 
The tea plant was not originally introduced into India from Ohina 
as is generally supposed. The natural habitat of the tea plant being 
the hills of Assam, the suggestion has been made to use Assam 
hill-seed from wild trees for propagating tea bushes in the Darjeeling 
hills. Naturally seed collected from tea plants in plains or seed- 
gardens does not thrive at high elevations, and even seed gathered 
from wild tea plants growing in the plains has often given a poor 
result. Plains seed should be used for plains and hill seed for hills, 
and the indigenous varieties preferred. When seed from the 
indigenous stock is used it should be sown in seed-beds in shade, 
as naturally the tea plant growls in thick jungles. There should 
be exchange of seed from one region to another. 

Drs. Watt and Mann regard the Manipur, the Assam 
indigenous and the Naga races of tea as truly indigenous Indian 
races, the rest being regarded by them as derived from the 
China race, either as culture-variations or hybrids. The China 
race has no tendency to grow into tall trees like the Manipur, 
Assam and Naga varieties. The leaves of the Lushai or 
* Cachar indigenous ' race are the largest of all, some specimens 
being 12 to 14 inches long and 6 to 7| inches wide. The Naga 
type of leaf is narrower and smaller, 6 to 9 inches in length by 2 
to 3| inches in width. The Manipur or Burma type of leaf is 
slightly broader and leathery and coarser in texture. The ' Assam 
indigenous ' has slightly smaller leaves, 6 to 7| inches long, while 
the typical China tea is 1 to 2| inches long and less than | inch 
in width. Between the true China and the Assam varieties there 
are many accidental hybrids. The popular variety of tea known 
as " Assam hybrid" is not a true hybrid, the China and the 
Assam tea plants which were used for cross-fertilising being- 
only different varieties of Camellia Thea. The so-called hybrid 
teas flush earlier, are not so affected by deficient rainfall, though 
they are more subject to the mosquito blight. Whether tlie 
production of a real hybrid between Camellia Thea and some 
other hitherto non-tea-producing wild Camellia will produce a 
stronger race of a tea, capable of resisting blights better, is a 
question which has not been taken up yet. That one jat of tea 
bushes is naturally healthier than another, is- the common 



324 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

sxperience of planters, and the question of true hybridisation 
of the tea plants may be pregnant with important consequences 

But what the planter needs most at the present crisis 
through which the tea-making industry is passing, is not the 
discovery of a disease-resisting jat, but the renovation of the soil. 
The two factors to the problem are : (1) exhaustion of soil, and (2) 
growth of special parasites, both fungoid and animal, which are 
encouraged by the constant presence of a suitable host-plant. The 
exhaustion of soil can be best met by the application of suitable 
manures and by deep hoeing once a year or oftener, supplemented 
by several light hoeings during the season. The manures especially 
applicable to a crop of which the leaves are used, should be parti- 
cularly rich in potash and nitrogen, also lime. A practice of 
growing mati-kalai (Phaseolus mungo) or Dhaincha (Sesbania 
aculeata) between tea plants has sprung up of late years, and its 
effect is said to be excellent on the tea bushes. Castor-cake is 
an excellent manure. Rape or mustard-cake may also be applied 
for renovating the soil. The soil should be kept stirred deep and 
well, once during the dormant period, viz., December to February, 
after which, application of rape-cake or other manure may follow 
between the rows of plants, and then when any pests are noticed, 
spraying of the bushes with a mixture of sulphate of copper and 
lime (1 : 10 with 200 parts of water), then dusting with soot and 
alum, may be resorted to. The flushing of leaf coming after such 
cultivation and manuring and application of insecticides and 
fungicides, should be healthy and free from blights of all sorts. 
Picking of spotted and crumpled up leaves during the dormant 
period, and burning them, should be also practised. 

The seed should nevr be gathered from gardens where leaf 
is picked, but from special seed gardens or from wild plants. It 
should be kept in almost dry earth throughout winter and sown in 
March in seed-beds. When a year old, the seedlings are planted 
out from four to five feet apart according to circumstances. On 
no account should two races of tea be planted on the same plot 
for the purpose of " blending." For the first two years no plucking 
is done, but the plants are kept pruned in the cold weather. The 
pruning of young tea is a difficult matter, and for details regarding 
it reference must be made to the special authorities quoted later. 
The first plucking of leaves takes place in the third year, after 
which the plucking goes on many times in the year as long as the 
bushes are alive. The first picking is usually done in April. This 
makes almost as good tea as that made out of October-November 
picking. The picking should be done carefully, so as not to bruise 
the leaves, nor injure tender shoots. The monsoon pickings go 
to make the coarsest tea. About 2,000 plants go to an acre, and 
the yield from a mature plantation may vary from 200 to 1,000 Ibs. 
according to conditions. The average in India is 450 to 500 Ibs. 
The bushes go on yielding the fulKquantity for twenty to thirty 
years at least. 



TEA. 325 

Withering. The leaves are exposed to air in the shade for about 
eighteen to twenty hours after plucking in specially constructed 
houses, after which they have become limp and flabby and capable 
of being rolled. The changes which take place during this operation 
are profound. The essential oil increases rapidly, as also the 
oxidising enzyme which acts upon the tannin at a later stage of 
the process. If the leaves are bruised or injured, they do not 
wither properly and are little good. In sound leaf, the commence- 
ment of fermentative change can be observed at the end of the 
broken stem, where the constituents of the sap become oxidised 
and gradually pass through stages of colour from coppery and 
dark-brown to black. The amount of moisture which should be 
allowed to evaporate varies considerably, according to the jat 
of leaf, the time of year, and the weather, but about 33 per cent, 
yields the best results. The object is to make the leaves fit for 
rolling, as wilted leaves take and keep a good twist without break- 
ing. The colour during the oxidation process becomes uneven if 
the withering is allowed to go too far. If the atmosphere is very 
moist, it may be necessary to employ artificial heat and a forced 
draft in the withering process, but the temperature should never 
exceed 100F., and the heat should be gradually reduced to 85F. 
or less, when the leaf is nearly ready. The leaves gathered on 
a wet day should be allowed to get a little over-withered that 
the weaker sap may be concentrated to the standard proportion, 
and they should be also subjected to a hard and prolonged 
rolling to break all the cells (charged with more than the usual 
proportion of moisture) and distribute the juices all over the 
leaves. Leaves gathered in fine weather require less withering 
and rolling, the sap being more concentrated. When properly 
withered, the leaves give out a fresh and pleasant aroma, 
different from the vegetable smell of badly withered leaf. When 
the atmosphere is saturated with moisture, natural withering 
even in very hot weather does not take place readily, and 
artificial arrangements for withering are always desirable, as 
then the conditions as regards hygroscopicity and temperature 
and time can be regulated to exactness. Temperatures higher 
than 100F. can be employed for a short time if the leaves 
are wet, but when the external moisture has disappeared the 
temperature should be reduced to 90F. and retained at 90F. 
until the operation is concluded. The leaves in the baskets should 
never be pressed down, but remain loose, and they must be brought 
to the withering room in as fresh a condition as possible. 

Rolling, etc. The object of rolling the leaves is to distribute 
the juices contained inside the cells over the surface of the leaves 
by breaking the cells up. The juices thus brought to the surface 
are easily obtained in the tea infusion. In the process of rolling 
a great deal of oxygen is also absorbed, and the tannin assumes a 
dark colour and becomes partly insoluble and partly it combines 
with the albuminoids of the leaf forming an insoluble leather-like 



326 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

substance. The rolling machine should be situated in the 
coolest part of the factory. After rolling and re-rolling, the leaves 
should be passed through a revolving sieve to break up any lumps 
and immediately afterwards placed in the fermenting room. The 
fermentation room should be well removed from the engine room, 
and it should have an even temperature which is secured by a. 
double roof. There should be a drain in the middle of the 
fermenting room that the room may be washed and cleaned daily 
after the day's operation is over. In cool weather the rolled 
mass of tea leaf is kept six inches or eight inches thick, and in hot 
weather two to four inches thick and turned every half hour to 
prevent overheating. About 80F. is the best temperature, and 
when the surrounding atmosphere is 90 or 95F. and rather dry, 
the atmosphere should be cooled and moistened by hanging wet 
cloths in the room. Properly treated the leaves should be of a 
bright green colour after the rolling operation, and of a reddish 
tint half an hour later. This change continues until the younger 
leaves and stems are a bright coppery colour, while the older 
and less perfectly rolled leaves are partly reddish and partly 
green. Under normal conditions fermentation goes on for two 
to four hours, after which the leaf is re-rolled and dried, in 
special machines, in a current of hot air at a temperature of 
200 to 270F. A more even colour is obtained by sorting the 
leaf and placing the different grades in separate heaps to ferment 
after the rolling operation, whereby the older leaf can remain for 
a longer period without injury to the other. Should the leaf 
have been over-withered and the sap reduced to too great a degree 
of concentration, the colour obtained in the fermentation will be 
dull and dark instead of bright coppery ; this can be partially 
remedied by moistening the leaf with clean water, either during 
the first rolling, or when the leaf is put to ferment, by which 
means the concentrated sap is better diffused over the leaves. 

In all cases the leaf and the atmosphere of the fermenting 
room must be kept damp by sprinkling with cold water, and it is 
advisable to protect the leaf from draughts of dry air. If this 
is not done, the surface of the heaps will assume a blaqkened ap- 
pearance, owing to the leaf drying up, and the too rapid oxidation 
of the tannin and colouring matter. A perfectly moist draught 
of air would probably not be of any harm. Direct rays of the 
sun in the fermentation room must be avoided. Experiments have 
shown that a certain moist condition of the atmosphere and of 
the leaf itself, is necessary to obtain the desired colour, and also 
that the best results as regards flavour, pungency, etc., are obtained 
when the temperature of the leaf does not rise spontaneously 
above 82 to 8iF. If the leaf is placed on a cement floor, where 
the heat is partially absorbed as it is developed, it can be thicker 
than when placed on boards or cloth raised above the floor ; and 
as a general rule, the cooler the May the thicker can the leaf be 
placed to obtain the necessary colour in a uniform time. 



TEA. 327 

The firing usually takes place in two or three stages. The 
temperature employed for the first firing averages about 270F., 
but during the second firing, when the leaf is partly dried, although 
the temperature employed in the machine is not so high as in the 
first instance, the leaf itself attains within a few degrees the tem- 
perature of the machine, since evaporation is not great. The 
temperature towards the end, i.e., when the leaf has once become 
dry and crisp, should be reduced to somewhat below 212F., say 
180 to 200F., and the draught employed should not be very 
great, so that the moisture will not be driven away rapidly. If 
the firing operation is hurried too much, the tea loses in aroma. 
By ten minutes' firing in a " Victoria " at 260 to 280F., the 
oxidized tea loses fifty per cent, of moisture. If the " Sirocco " 
is afterwards employed, as is usually done, the remainder of the 
moisture is evaporated at a slower rate. 

When the leaf has been fired and oxidized, it is ready for 
packing, which is done with lead in well-seasoned wooden boxes. 



Cost- 



Manufacturing charges . . . . Rs. 12 per acre. 

Establishment, including field labour . . ,,65 
Manuring . . . . . . 18 



05 
Profit of Rs. 5 per maund on six maunds . . ,, 30 



Total cost . . 125 

If Rs. 125 are realized per acre, and six maunds obtained as 
the outturn per acre, tea can be worked with profit. 

The principal pests of tea plantations are the so-called 
Mosquito blight and the Red Spider. Against the former, pru- 
ning and hoeing and burning have been found useful, also 
spraying of Kerosene emulsion, and against the latter dusting 
of sulphur. For a full account of tea-blights, students are 
referred to the work on the subject by Drs. Watt and Mann. 

The chemical changes that take place during manufacture 
of tea are numerous ; one of the most important being an increase 
in the amount of essential oil, to which the flavour of tea is so 
largely due. A certain amount of volatile fatty acids is also 
developed from the splitting up of a portion of the albuminoid 
matter in the leaf, and the sap develops an acid reaction. Some 
of these on isolation have a sweet nutty flavour and aroma, to 
which the peculiar smell of properly oxidized leaf is due. If the 
process of oxidation is prolonged for many hours, the acidity of 
the sap rapidly increases and the leaf becomes sour and rancid, 
acids similar to those in rancid butter being developed. These 
can be got rid of, up to a certain extent, by firing, by exposing 
the leaf to a high temperature for a lengthened period, but only 
at the expense of the volatile oil which is dissipated with them. 
The astringency due to tannin is also greatly reduced during 



328 



HANDBOOK OP AGRICULTURE. 



this process of oxidation, the tannin being partly oxidized into an 
insoluble brown substance known as Phlobaphene and partly 
combining with some of the albuminoid matter, and which gives 
the leaves a tough, leathery and elastic character easily notice- 
able on handling. The albuminoid matter of the leaf is also partly 
coagulated by the acidity developed during the fermentation. 
The following is an analysis of fresh tea leaf, by Bamber : 



Essential oil 

Fixed oil 

Thein .. 

Volatile alkaloid 

Tannin 

Boheic acid 

Gallic acid 

Legumin 

Albumin and Globulin 

Waxes and Gums . . 

Pectin, Pectoses, etc. 

Amides 

Cellulose, fibre, etc. 

Phlobaphene, resins, etc. 

Mineral matter 



05% 
50 
. 4-10 

Trace 

18-15 

2-34 

83 

24-00 

1-00 

2-88 

12-60 

Trace 
21-20 
7-85 
4-60 

100 



The seed of tea-bushes contains over 20 per cent, of fixed oil, 
which may be used either as lamp-oil or for soap-making. The 
oil-cake is less than half the value of castor-cake so far as Nitrogen 
is concerned, and of very little value so far as phosphates are 
concerned. The cake being poisonous is useless as cattle-food. 
The decoction of the cake may possibly be found useful as an 
insecticide. 

The growing and manufacture of tea is a very technical 
process, and the reader is recommended to consult Bald's treatise 
on Indian Tea (Thacker, Spink and Co.), or the various publications 
by Mann, mostly issued by the Indian Tea Association, Calcutta. 



CHAPTER LXXI. 

COFFEE (COFFEA ARABIC A). 

[Situations suitable for the crop ; Varieties . Planting ; Seed ; Pruning ; Harvest- 
ing ; Manufacture ; Fermentation ; Drying ; Peeling or Milling ; Winnowing 
'and Airing ; Packing ; Prices ; Machinery.! 

THIS crop requires a hilly, well drained, rich, ferruginous 
clay soil, e.g., forest land, particularly rich in Nitrogen. Coffee 
prefers altitudes varying from 1,000 to 5,000 ft. The temperature 
best suited for this crop is 60 to 80F. It grows best in a humid 
climate, i.e., where there is some rain every month, but the total 
rainfall should not exceed 150 inches per annum. Frost is fatal 
to coffee plants. Heavy clouds and strong winds are also objec- 
tionable. In hot and dry places also, coffee has been grown suc- 
cessfully in shade. The Arabian coffee can stand drought better 



COFFEE. 329 

than the Liberian coffee, which is preferred for moist localities. 
Though the cultivation of coffee is at present practically confined 
to Ceylon and the Lower slopes of the Nilghiris, the experiment of 
growing coffee elsewhere is worth repeating. In Ranchi, Mour- 
bhanj, Chittagong, Darjeeling and parts of Burmah and Bombay, 
the coffee plant has been grown successfully, and in some Calcutta 
gardens also berries have been seen on coffee plants growing in 
shade. One experiment conducted in Chittagong gave nine 
maunds of berries per acre. In most of these places, however, 
the cultivation can only be considered a curiosity. 

Planting. Having selected a suitable site, the juitgles should 
be cleared and burnt, belts of trees giving protection from high 
winds being left. The roads are then to be laid out and the coffee- 
house furnished with a good water-supply. Then a spot should 
be selected for a nursery which should be well drained soil (situated 
on a slope of a hill), but close to water, that irrigation may be 
easily done when required. The soil should be rich and retentive 
of moisture, i.e., full of humus matter. After spading and plough- 
ing to a depth of about twenty inches, exterminating all the weeds, 
manuring the soil with about 200 maunds of farm yard manure 
per acre and raising the beds six inches above the surrounding 
soil, seeds should be sown six to nine inches apart, and two inches 
deep, and only one inch apart from one another along the furrows or 
lines. The lines should then be covered lightly and mats or palm 
branches thrown over the seed-beds. Watering should be done 
early in the morning or after sunset. 

A bushel of seed will give 10,000 plants, sufficient for covering 
ten acres. When the plants have two to four leaves they should 
be carefullv transplanted, in damp cloudy weather, from the seed- 
bed to the nursery and placed nine to twelve inches apart. The 
grounds of the plantation are " lined out " for the reception 
of the plants. A rope is furnished with bits of scarlet rag at the 
distance fixed upon between the plants which is usually seven feet. 
It is stretched across the plot and stakes are inserted at each rag. 
The rope is then moved forward a stage at a time, gauged by 
measuring rods 7 ft. long. Or, a base-line is laid down straight 
up and down the slope, and a cross-line set off exactly at right 
angles. On this line stakes are driven into the ground at the 
distance determined upon for the position of the plants. To each 
stake a rope is fixed and stretched parallel with the base-line and 
as straight as possible. Small stakes are provided along these 
lines. A rope held across them at succeeding stages of equal 
width is guided by measuring poles 7 ft. long, and the small stakes 
are put in where the moveable rope crosses the fixed ones, each 
stake indicating the site for a plant. The sowing and transplant- 
ing are done in the rainy season. The seedlings are planted out 
when a year old, and sometimes when two years old, in their pei> 
manent places in the plantation. Seven feet each way is the usual 
distance apart at which they are planted, about 1,000 plants going 



330 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

to the acre. Holes are first made where the stakes are planted 
and then the seedlings removed, a ball of earth being taken up 
with each seedling, the planting done as soon as possible 
and the earth made quite firm after planting. Weeding is after- 
wards done as occasion requires. Staking with canes has also to 
be done for supporting the plants against heavy winds. Filling 
in blanks when any seedlings die or get sickly has also to be pro- 
vided for and carried out. A fast growing small tree is usually 
grown alongside the seedlings to give them shade. Maize is a 
very good crop to grow, but it is rather an exhausting crop, 
and an upright leguminous crop, such as arahar, or jainti 
(Sesbania "wjyptiaca), should be preferred, as these would go to 
enrich the soil. Trenching and manuring have also to be or- 
ganised, the former as a means of draining. Weeds are put in 
these trenches as a source of manure. The trenches open into 
catch-drains, whence water runs off into drainage channels. 
Manuring with lime, oil-cake, cowdung, etc., is also done, as 
coffee is an exhausting crop. Forking or spading once a year to 
a depth of twelve to eighteen inches is also essential in the dry 
season. 

After another twelve or eighteen months, when the plants ase 
3 to 5 ft. in height, topping is done, i.e., nipping off the central bud 
to check further growth in height. Topped in this way, the berries 
are more easily gathered and the yield is also heavier. Pruning 
is also done in such a manner that the plants may remain 5 ft. 
high and develop horizontally primary branches at intervals of 
about 6 inches throughout the height of the stem ; and to form 
along these boughs a constant supply of secondary fruit-bearing 
twigs. All ascending and cross- wise branches or twigs are at 
once removed, so as to force the plant into the type of horizontal 
spreading branches which has the advantage of exposing to sun 
and light a large surface from which the crop can with ease be 
removed. All secondary fruiting twigs are pruned off after each 
crop is removed. Pruning should be finished each time before 
the next season's flower buds begin to form. The lateral or pri- 
mary boughs should not be allowed to grow more than 2| feet, 
otherwise they will droop and exclude the light from those below. 
All broken, diseased and dead branches should be cut off. 

The blossoms appear- in March of the second or the third 
year and they go on appearing every year after. About October 
begins collection of the crop and preparation of berries. The 
collection of ripe fruits goes on from October to January. The 
bright blood-red fruits (i.e., ripe fruits) are collected, but deep red 
or cherry coloured fruits which are not quite mature should be 
also collected at the same time to save labour. 

Manufacture. The manufacture of the ' berry ' from the 
' cherry/ as the ripe fruit is called* is accomplished in the following 
stages: (1) Pulping, (2) Fermenting, (3) Drying, (4) Peeling, 
milling or hulling, and (5) Winnowing and sizing. 



COFFEE, 331 

(i) Pulping. The pulp surrounding the beans is removed 
by a machine, called the Disc-pulper or Cylinder-pulper, when 
the cherries are still fresh. The Disc-pulper consists of rotating 
discs, the surfaces of which are covered with sheet copper roughened 
by having projections punched forward. It pulps 20 to 25 bushels 
of cherries per hour worked by three labourers. A double pulper 
of this type has two such discs and is furnished with a feeding 
roller and it pulps 40 bushels per hour worked by four to six coolies, 
or double this amount, worked by steam. The discs work against 
smooth iron beds so adjusted that the complete cherry cannot 
pass between them without getting torn upwards against the beds, 
and the projections on the discs tear off the pulp, allowing the 
beans to drop into one receiver and the fragmentary pulp to be 
carried into another. The Cylinder-pulper, in construction, is 
not unlike the cotton-gin which drags the lint forward and lets the 
seeds drop behind. A stream of water flows into the pulper all 
the time it is working. By means of sieves the cleaned beans 
are separated from partially pulped cherries, the latter being 
made to pass once more through the pulper. The stream of water 
with the stones is carried down from the loft by a tube which dips 
to the bottom of a basin known as the hopper. 

Fermenting. The stones are then fermented to remove from 
them the saccharine matter adhering to them, which renders it 
difficult to dry the beans. The stones are carried into tanks 
which are placed higher than the drying platforms on which the 
fermented beans are finally spread out. There are usually four 
fermenting tanks, two in which fermentation actually takes place 
and two in which the beans are afterwards washed. One of each 
is used for the produce of one day's pulping. All the stones 
pulped in one day are allowed to remain in the receiving cistern 
until fermentation has set in, i.e., for 12 to 18 hours, according to 
the temperature. The stones are then run into the washing cistern 
and the receiving cistern made available for another day's produce. 

Drying. The washed beans are then carried to the drying 
floors or platforms where they are exposed to the influences of 
the sun and atmosphere. The floor is asphalted or simply made 
of concrete, or the ground is hardened and covered with a coir 
matting. The last method has the advantage of admitting of the 
surplus matting being thrown over the beans in the event of an 
occasional shower, but shed-accommodation, where the beans 
may be rapidly removed when rain comes on, is essential. During 
drying, the beans have to be constantly raked or stirred with 
coolies' feet. Too rapid drying, cracking of the beans, and dis- 
proportioned drying through careless raking, are to be avoided. 

Peeling or Milling. The outer skin or ' parchment ' of the 
beans is now removed. This is usually done by machinery in 
Europe instead of in the pEntation. The beans are dried in the 
sun or artificially heated before they are put into the peeling 
machines. 



332 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

Winnowing and Sizing. The peeled coffee as it comes from 
the mill is subjected to fanning which drives off the parchment 
and skin, leaving the clean coffee behind. Then the coffee seeds 
are separated by mechanical means into different sizes that roasting 
afterwards may be uniform. 

Packing. The beans are put in cases, the timber of which 
will not spoil the aroma of the coffee. 

Coffee, like tea and poppy or any other crop which is grown 
constantly in the same locality, is subject to many diseases caused 
by fungi and insects. Exhaustion of soil and heavy manuring 
are also talked of in connection with coffee cultivation, which is 
failing in some localities, especially in Ceylon. 

In a well-cultivated estate an expenditure of Rs. 80 per acre 
is incurred on superintendence and field-labour, inclusive of peeling 
and freight, and an additional Rs. 50 per acre on manures and 
their application. In some coffee estates a total expenditure of 
only Rs. 80 per acre is incurred, but the result obtained is pro- 
portionately poorer. As half, the area is manured annually, the 
total annual expenditure comes to about Rs. 110 per acre in a 
well-kept garden, and the annuaj average outturn coming to *2i 
to 3 ewts., the crop sold at 60s. per cwt. leaves a small margin of 
profit, while at 40,s. per cwt. coffee-growing does not pay at all. 
But in an estate where 50 rupees per acre is spent on manuring 
every alternate year, the average comes to 4 cwts. per acre. Grow- 
ing of leguminous crops and application of bones are the manurial 
treatment recommended. 




FlO. C6.--THE COFFEB HULLKR. 



The Engell)en> Huller Company of New York supply all the 
machinery required for the manufacture of coffee. Their Coffee 
Huller and Separator No. 5, suitable for small plantations, 
separates 1,500 to 2,000 Ibs. of cleaned coffee in 10 hours, separating 
the parchment from the coffee. The price of the machine is 200 
dollars. A screen used for separating dirt, sticks, etc., before the 



VANILLA. 333 

berries are put in the pulper is sold for 90 dollars. A hand-power 
pulper is sold for 100 dollars. The Coffee washer is made in two 
sizes, the smaller size being priced 150 dollars. Coffee graders 
are sold for 225 to 275 dollars each, according to size. A Coffee 
polisher is also made of two sizes, the smaller size being priced 250 
dollars. The only advantage of using this machine is, all foreign 
material, dust, etc., mixed with the coffee is rejected by an exhaust- 
fan, keeping the coffee clean and cool and permitting a more bril- 
liant polish. Coffee Hullers (Fig. 66) are not unlike Rice Hullers 
in general appearance and in their principle of construction. 



CHAPTER LXXII. 

VANILLA (VANILLA PLANIFOLIA). 

VANILLA cultivation has been undertaken by a few European 
planters of Mysore, etc. Vanilla is an essence or flavouring sub- 
stance obtained from the fruits of a climbing orchid found growing 
wild in the hot, humid forests of Central and South America, and 
a considerable portion of the vanilla of commerce is gathered from 
wild plants found growing in the forests of Mexico. 

Soil and Climate. A lich loamy vegetable soil is the best 
for the vanilla. An undrained water-logged soil causes the roots 
to rot, and it is therefore quite unsuited to the cultivation of the 
orchid. The climate should be hot, and moist and sheltered 
situations are indispensable, but the plants must not be too much 
shaded, or the fruits will not ripen. 

Propagation. Cuttings four or five feet long are planted at 
the foot of trees, or other supports used for the vine to grow on, 
and in showery weather they soon take root. 

Cultivation. The fertilization of the flowers has to be done 
artificially, and it is necessary for the plants to be trained, so as^ 
to bring the flowers within reach of the hand. The distances at 
which the supports on which the vines are to climb are planted, 
should not be more than six feet. The holes should be filled in 
with rich loam mixed with sand and decayed leaves ; and if the planta- 
tion be in the vicinity of the forest, the rich humus found on the 
surface of the ground is sufficient for filling up the holes. The- 
soil must be heaped up, so as to prevent water-logging at the base - 
of the cutting. The three lower leaves of the cuttings are removed, 
and that portion of the stem planted three or four inches below the 
surface. The remainder of the stem is then tied to the post or 
tree by a flat band of plantain fibre, or by a cocoanut leaflet. 
Round cord must not be Used, as it is liable to cut into and injure 
the green, succulent stem of the vanilla. The ground over the 
buried part of the cutting is then mulched with leaves or light , 
brush- wood ; and if dry weather comes on, frequent waterings .will : 



334 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

be necessary, until the cutting has taken root. The ground must 
be kept free from weeds, and, unless it be lightly shaded by grow- 
ing trees, it will be advisable in dry weather to keep the roots 
constantly mulched. 

When the vines have reached the tops of the trees or other 
supports, bamboos may be fixed horizontally from tree to tree or 
from post to post, and the vines trained along them. The trees 
must be kept down low, so that the vines do not get out of reach, 
and the branches must be judiciously lopped, in order to prevent 
too much shade. No animal or artificial manures should be used, 
but rotten leaves and vegetable soil may be applied to the roots 
after each crop is gathered. 

Fertilization of the Flowers. The plants will commence to 
flower in the second year after planting, and full crops may be 
expected in the fourth year. In the Sibpur Botanical Garden 
the vanilla creepers are in flower in March and April and artificial 
fertilization is regularly practised, though in the wild state, in 
America, fertilization no doubt takes place through the agency of 
insects or small birds. The parts of the flower are so arranged 
that self-pollination is impossible, and therefore it must be effected 
by some foreign agency. If the flower of the vanilla orchid be 
examined carefully, it will be seen that the outer floral envelope 
consists of three sepals, and the inner one consists of three petals. 
The lowest of the petals is very different from the others ; it is called 
the labellum or lip, and it envelopes the column or continuation of 
the axis of the plant on which are set the curious anther and 
stigma. This continuation is called the column. At the top of 
the column is a hood which covers up the anther and pollen masses, 
and below this is the viscid stigmatic surface, protected and hidden 
by a projecting lip sometimes called the lamellune. Thus we see 
that the pollen is shut in by the hood and the stigma is shut in by 
the lamellune, so that two obstacles prevent self-pollination. The 
object of artificial fertilization is to remove these obstacles, and 
to permit the pollen masses to approach the stigma. This is easily 
effected firstly, by detaching the hood, which is accomplished 
easily by touching it lightly with a piece of sharpened wood ; se- 
condly, by slipping the lamellune under the anther ; and thirdly, by 
ensuring contact of the pollen and stigma by gentle pressure between 
the fore-finger and thumb. The operation is performed in a few 
seconds after a little practice, and it may be facilitated by hold- 
ing the column between the thumb and middle finger of the left 
hand, whilst it is supported at the back by the fore-finger ; the 
right hand is then free to use the fertilising instrument, which 
should be rather blunt and flattened at the end. A tooth broken 
from an old comb and fixed into a piqpe of thin bamboo a few inches 
in length may be used. 

If the fertilising operation proves successful, the flower will 
gradually wither, whilst the pod will grow rapidly. If unsuccessful, 
the flower will fall off before the second day, and the ovary will 



VANILLA 335 

remain undeveloped, turn yellow, shrivel up, and drop off the 
stalk. The flowers come out in March in clusters of from 10 to 12, 
but not more than half a dozen of the clusters should be fertilised 
and in this way fine large pods will be secured. Fertilization 
should commence at 9 or 10 o'clock in the morning, for 
if it be done too late, pollination may be incomplete, or fail 
altogether. The fruit goes on growing for a month, but it will 
take at least five months longer to ripen sufficiently for 
harvesting. 

Harvesting. The pods are to be gathered whfcn they begin 
to turn yellow at their ends, or when they produce a crackling 
sensation on being pressed lightly between the fingers. Each 
pod should be gathered separately by being bent to one side, when 
it will come off the stem. It is very important to gather the 
pods at the right time, for, if they be too ripe, they will split open 
in curing, and if too green, they are dried with difficulty, and they 
will have little or no perfume. 

Curing. After the beans are gathered, they are plunged 
for half a minute in hot, almost boiling water. They are then 
put on mats to drain them dry, and afterwards they are spread 
out on blankets and exposed to the sun. Every evening they 
are rolled up in the blankets and shut up in light boxes to ferment. 
The sunning process is continued for a week, or until the pods 
become brown and pliable, when they are squeezed between the 
fingers to straighten them, and so cause the seeds and oily sub- 
stance inside to be evenly distributed. Should any of the pods 
split, they should be closed up and bound round tightly with silk 
thread or narrow tape. As they, dry and shrivel, the thread should 
be unwound, and the pods tied up again. When the pods are 
brown, the drying process should be finished in shade, which may 
take many weeks. 

Packing. The dried beans are to be sorted according to 
their length, the long thin ones being the most valuable. Beans 
of the same length are to be tied in bundles of 25 or 50, the ligatures 
usually being applied close to each end of the bundle. The latter 
are then packed in closely fitting tin boxes, which are enclosed in 
rough wooden cases. 

The Vanilla plants flower very irregularly, and, in conse- 
quence, all the pods are not in fit condition to be gathered at one 
time, and care is required at the first gatherings not to touch 
pods which are unripe ; if gathered too early, the pods or beans will 
mostly shrivel during the process of drying, and lean shrivelled 
beans do not realise so good a price in the markets. At the same 
time the pods must not be left on the plants after they have ripened, 
or the valves will open, sometimes nearly an inch, and split beans 
are of inferior value. 7 to 33 shillings per pound are obtained 
in the London market according to the size and quality of the 
beans. 



CHAPTER LXXIII. 
PAPAYA (CARICA PAPAYA). 

As a heavy yielding fruit and vegetable crop the papaya ha 

"hardly its equal, and it deserves to be cultivated as a regular crop 

The fruit grows plentifully during the monsoon, but it goes 01 

yielding all the year round. The best papayas are grown in Ceylo] 

and Sylhet. 

The seeds should be dried in the sun, and after being kept \ 
week, sown in a box or under cover in rich but light soil. Th< 
soil should consist of sand and two-year-old manure. Whei 
the plants are a few inches high they should be transplanted to i 
nursery, and when two or three feet high they should be plantec 
out in fields, in holes in which plenty of manure and a few pieces o 
bones should be put. The trees should be planted in the open anc 
not in shade. The planting should be done 10 ft. apart. Whei 
six feet high the central bud should be nipped off and growtl 
of side branches encouraged. The size and quantity of fruits ar 
both enhanced by this operation. Male trees often contaii 
hermaphrodite flowers which go to form fruits. From large size( 
fruits from male trees (which are best known by their pendulou 
flowering branches) seed should be taken, as then the tendency 
will be for both male and female trees to yield fruits. 

Apart from the great value of the papaya as a drought resist 
ing crop yielding a highly nourishing vegetable (when the fruit; 
are green) and ripe fruit, the crop is of great value as the sourci 
of Papain or Papayotin. The filtered juice of the papaya givei 
some of the reactions of pepsin, but it is different from pepsin, ai 
it acts more energetically in neutral or alkaline substances thai 
in the presence of acids. It curdles milk like pepsin. It dissolve! 
twenty-eight times its weight of coagulated albumen. It also t< 
some extent digests fibrin (the principal albuminoid of meat), 
some say two hundred times its weight as well as white of eggs 
No action, however, takes place when there is much acid. It is fo 
this reason papaya acts so readily in softening fresh meat, if th< 
milk of the fruit is added to the meat a few minutes befor< 
cooking. It is not such a ready alimentary digestive in th< 
presence of gastric juice which is highly acid. Papain is presen 
moife or less in all parts of the plant, but chiefly in young fruits 

In preparing Papain, the juice should be obtainfed from un 
ripe fruits. Moisture spoils the ferment and great heat destroy 
its activity. The juice should therefore be dried as soon as possi 
ble at a low temperature. The fresh but dried juice should tx 
mixed with twice its volume of rectified spirit, and the mixtur< 
allowed to stand for a few hours. The insoluble matter shouk 
then be filtered off. The residue Should be dried in the ordinary 
atmospheric temperature, powdered and kept in well stoppere< 
bottles. 



CASSAVA AS FAMINE FOOD. 337 

In the presence of alkali, Papain is not only a valuable aid 
to digestion, but it is also a solvent of the gum of tusser and other 
cocoons which are reeled with difficulty. The use of Papain as 
an aid to the reeling of tusser cocoons is recommended for trial. 



CHAPTER LXXIV. 

CASSAVA AS FAMINE FOOD. 

[ Dron ht-resistin# crops ; Objections to famine-foods ; Cassava, where used ; 
Advantages of introducing the crop on high lands ; Varieties ; An experi- 
ment ; Tapioca meal or Brazilian arrowroot ; Tapioca ; CassaVa flour ; Yeddi 
cultivation ;^ Nipping of buds for keeping the bushes low; Seasons for 
planting and lifting ; Dishes made of Cassava ; Liable to the attack of rate ; 
Other root- crops for famine times.] 

DURING the series of famines in India from 1896 to 1901, 
persons who went about in rural places could not have failed to 
notice how certain crops fared better than others, how certain 
crops did not suffer at all from the drought, and how poor people 
took to living very largely on foods which they had formerly looked 
upon as mere accessories to their dietary. It was noticed, for 
instance, that where rice, wheat and barley had failed completely, 
arahar, kalai, gram, maize and some of the common millets did 
fairly well, and yams, sweet potatoes, vegetables, such as pahals, 
sapia, country figs and mash-melons and sweet melons did remark- 
ably well. During the famine of 1897 these articles of food were 
largely used as a substitute for rice. Throughout June, 1897, 
many day-labourers ate only mash-melons in the day-time and a 
little rice at night. A pice worth of melons or palvals gave them a 
full day's meal at a time when two annas Avorth of rice was 
required to appease a man's hunger. It i$ singular that the prices 
of such articles as milk, fish, etc., did not increase, and that food 
far more nourishing than rice, consisting of palval, kalai, dumbur, 
fish and sour milk was to be had at a smaller cost than rice. The 
famine, indeed, had the effect of educating people how not to 
depend on rice alone for sustenance and teaching agriculturists the 
value of having several strings to their bow, i.e., of growing not 
rice alone, but also maize, millets, bfiadai, kalai, arahar, 61, and 
other crops ordinarily less paying than rice, but which do not 
require the same amount of water for their successful growth, 
and which do not fail when there is a monsoon of short 
duration. 

The food-stuffs mentioned above labour under one or other 
of the four disadvantages . First, they either yield too little 
produce, or secondly, they are too indigestible, or thirdly, they 
are too coarse or insipid, or, fourthly, they do not keep long. The 
Cassava (called Simul-alu in Eastern Bengal and Sarkar-kanda in 
Midnapur), stands drought at least as well as any of those crops, it 
grows equally well in the open or in shade, it yields a nourishing 
and palatable food,. which can be utilized either in the fresh state, 

M, HA 22 



or by extracting out of it a flour which keeps much better than 
wheat-flour, it yields a much larger quantity of dry food per acre 
than probably any other crop, and it can be grown with little 
trouble, on high lands, in the plains of Bengal, 

The roots of the Cassava are sold boiled in the streets of 
Madras, and they taste very nice. In Darjeeling, Bancoorah, 
Midnapur and in Eastern Bengal and Assam it is eaten cooked 
into curries. Fresh roots do not keep long ; in the case of potatoes 
they rot away, and in the case of Cassava roots, they become like 
bits of wood from which it is not easy extracting the "farina. Cas- 
sava flour is easily manufactured from the fresh roots, and as 
such, the produce of this crop keeps long, and it can be utilized 
for food agreeable to Indian taste. 

One great advantage of growing the Cassava plant as a pro- 
tection against famine, lies in the fact that the roots need not be 
dug up annually. If a cultivator has a hedge of Cassava all round 
his fields, he can lift the roots only when his ordinary crops fail. 
In the interval he need not take any notice of them. Properly 
grown, after a few months the tuft of leaves of each tree gets beyond 
the reach of cattle. The roots go on increasing in number and in 
size, and they need not be utilized until a year of partial or total 
failure of the ordinary crops comes round. It should be men- 
tioned, however, that Cassava is not a suitable hedge plant, as 
cattle are very fond of its leaves. It should be also noted that the 
root-development goes on far more freely when the plants are kept 
down to a height of two to three feet only, by the nipping of 
terminal buds from time to time. 

The most economical way of utilizing the roots is to lift them 
once in ten to twelve months and to treat them as an annual crop. 
The deposition of starch falls off after the first year, that is, does 
not go on quite so rapidly in old trees as in one-year-old plants. In 
introducing the crop among cultivators, however, it is best to tell 
them to grow it along hedges and odd comers of their homesteads, 
that there may be no interference with their ordinary agricultural 
pursuits. In dealing with cultivators it is often necessary " by 
indirection to find direction out," to introduce improvements 
tentatively and slowly. Poverty makes them suspicious, and if 
you were to tell them to set apart some considerable portion of their 
land which they now use for growing rice, or kalai, or jute, for the 
Cassava plants, they will jump to the conclusion that you have 
some ulterior motive of your own to serve and you are merely 
using them as a catspaw. 

It should be noted that there are two varieties of Cassava, 
both used in America for extracting tapioca, though one of them, 
viz., the Manihot Utilissima, is. poisonous. The Manihot Aipi or 
the sweet Cassava, the roots of which can be eaten raw, is the 
safest variety to grow. There ia a considerable proportion of 
prussic acid in the bitter Cassava, which, however, is dissipated 
t>y the action of heat in the process of manufacture of tapioca. 



CASSAVA AS FAMINE FOOD. 339 

The sweet Cassava, variously called Himel-alu (or Simul-alu), 
from the resemblance of the leaves of this plant to those of the 
silk-cotton or Simul, gach-alu (or tree potatoes), ruti-aln (or bread 
potatoes) and Sakar-kanda (or sugar-root) was first introduced 
into Western India from America, probably by the Portuguese. 
In the Bombay Presidency it is not utilized for food, but in Southern 
India, in Cuttack, in Burma and in Assam and in some parts of 
Bengal also, the roots are eaten either raw or boiled, or curried. 
The art of making flour out of the roots is not practised anywhere 
in India. As a garden-plant or an ornamental hedge-plant, Cas- 
sava is met with in many parts of India. One can* taste the root 
and find out for oneself whether a particular plant is sweet Cassava 
or bitted Cassava, before taking cuttings out of it. 

We will now describe the process adopted at the Sibpur Farm 
in the manufacture of tapioca-meal, and Cassava flour, out of the 
roots dug out of nine Cassava plants, all one year old. The leaves 
of these nine plants and the root barks were given to cattle, who 
ate them with relish, and all stems and branches were used for 
making cuttings. So no portion of the plants was wasted. If you 
do not want to use all the stems for making cuttings, you can at 
least use them for fuel. A plantation of Cassava would thus give 
food, fodder, and fuel. Now to the manufacture of the flour. The 
following method was adopted : The crude roots were dug out 
and cleaned superficially of adhering earth and root-scabs, by 
washing them, and they were then left soaked in water for six 
to eight hours. This soaking in water rendered decortication 
quite easy. The roots were taken out one by one from the trough 
in which they were soaking, a slit made with a knife in the bark, 
which was then easily peeled out. The core of the root was then 
made into slices and put in a trough of filtered water. The slices 
were left soaking in the filtered water for an hour and then pulped 
with a dhenki. The pulp was tied in a cloth and put under a 
heavy weight. A cheese-press was used for this purpose. The 
object of putting the cut slices in water and the pulp under weight 
is to get the little trace of prussic acid which occurs even in sweet 
Cassava, out. The slight trace of acrid substance in the sweet 
Cassava produces no disagreeable effect even when the roots are 
eaten raw, but its presence can be slightly tasted, and it is much 
pleasanter to get this slightly disagreeable taste out of the pulp, 
before flour is made out of it. 

If it is desired to make tapioca-meal or tapioca, as well as 
Cassava flour, out of the pulp, the pulp is put in a cloth and kept 
stirred, half-dipped in a trough or yamla of filtered \vater. This 
helps the farina to go downward, settle at the bottom of the trough 
and also more of the acrid substance to be washed out of the pulp. 
After stirring the pulp in the cloth for an hour in one trough, it 
is to be stirred for a few minutes in another trough of filtered 
water and then the excess water squeezed out, and the pulp tied 
in th cloth is to be passed once more through the press and then 



340 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

spread out thin, exposed to the sun to allow of its getting dry the 
same day, if possible. If the crude roots are left in the wash- 
tank overnight, say, from 9 P.M. to 5 A.M., and the decorticating and 
slicing got over by 8 A.M., the sliced roots left in the soaking tub 
from 8 to 9 A.M., the pulping got over by 10 A.M., and extraction 
of the farina by midday, all the afternoon will be available for the 
pressed pulp to get dry. As the manufacturing should be done at 
the driest season of the year, viz., February to April, there should 
be no difficulty in getting the pulp thoroughly dry and ready for 
grinding by 5 or 6 P.M. At Sibpur, the grinding was done with 
an ordinary hand stone-mill and the flour was afterwards separated 
out with an ordinary hand-sieve. The resulting flour was beauti- 
fully white and sweet and it kept sweet for more than a tear. 

The farina or starch which settles down at the bottom of 
the troughs is collected quite easily by pouring out the water from 
them. The starch occurring in a compact and heavy mass does 
not flow out. The starch is allowed to settle again, and the water 
then poured off with the water. A fresh quantity of filtered water 
being poured out, the starch is exposed to the sun and collected 
in a dry state. The moist starch of some troughs may be con- 
verted into tapioca-meal or Brazilian arrowroot by drying in the 
sun, as above, and of others into tapioca. The tapioca-meal 
which is sold as " Brazilian arrowroot " in London, can be used 
as a substitute for ordinary arrowroot or cornflour. . 

The moist starch is simply exposed to the sun and made into 
tapioca-meal. But to convert it into tapioca it is put into a brass 
or aluminium pan in the moist state and heated over a slow fire 
with constant stirring with a brass khwnti. As soon as the meal, 
assumes the granular appearance of tapioca, it should be taken 
down from the fire and left to dry more perfectly in the sun. 

These were the actual quantities obtained at Sibpur out of 
nine Cassava plants : 220 Ibs. of crude roots, 149| Ibs. of pressed 
but moist pulp, 33f Ibs. of Cassava flour, 5| Ibs. of tapioca-meal, 
and 6f Ibs. of tapioca, or a total quantity 45| Ibs. of dry food, 
also 107 Ibs. of leaves which were eaten with avidity by cattle, 
and 937 cuttings. 

Planted five feet apart, an acre would hold about 1,700 plants. 
If the Sibpur experience is repeated on a large scale, we ought to 
get over 450 maunds of crude roots and over 210 maunds of greeni 
fod4er per acre. When it is recollected how difficult it is, to get 
green fodder in some parts of India during the driest months, the 
produce of 240 maunds of green fodder for cattle, which is a mere 
bye-product, seems sufficiently inviting. If the value of the 
fodder alone is estimated at two annas a maund, we have an out- 
turn of Us. 30 per acre. Then there is another bye-product in the 
shape of cuttings or fuel, which would be 175 to 200 maunds per 
acre, which represents another Us. 50. 

The price of tapioca is six annas a seer in Calcutta. Putting 
the whole produce of Cassava flour, tapioca-meal, and tapioca at 



CASSAVA AS FAMINE FOOD. 



341 



,the lowest value of, say, two annas a seer, i.e., Rs. 5 a maund, we 
may, on the basis of the Sibpur experiment, expect a gross 
produce of Rs. 500 per acre from the flour and meal. In practice, 
nothing like this would probably be obtained on a largo scale, 
but in any case the crop should be very profitable in Lower 
Bengal. 

Working on a large scale, the produce of flour will come, 
perhaps, to 50 maunds per acre instead of 100 maunds. The 
account of produce of Cassava flour given in Dr. Watt's Dictionary 
is rather conflicting, but as this is the only authority we could lay 
hold on, we would quote a passage here from his Dictionary ; 
" The produce has been estimated in Ceylon at 10 tons of green 
roots per acre. This weighs one-fourth when dried, and if the 
dried roots gave half their weight of flour it would amount to 2,800 
Ibs." This means 34 maunds per acre, which, of course, is three 
times as much as one gets out of an acre of wheat.* 

Though Cassava can be planted at any season, and harvested 
at any season, which is a great advantage looking at the question 
from the point of view of famine prevention only, the best season 
for harvesting, and consequently of replanting of cuttings, is 
February and March. There is now one point which must strike 
one very forcibly, viz., that Cassava which may yield 50 maunds 
of flour and meal per acre besides leaves, etc., must be an exhaust- 
ing crop, and the produce must fall off very much after the first 
year. If no manure is used, the produce is bound to fall off. But 
jf one were to expect a crop of Rs. 300 per acre, one ought to spend 
Rs. 20 or Rs. 30 per acre after the first year on manures. A handful 
of ashes is the only manure that need be used while planting the 
cuttings, but twenty cart-loads of farmyard manure should be 
added per acre and worked into the soil six weeks later. The 
planting should be done horizontally, three inches deep. 

When one is working on a large scale one cannot depend 
on knives for slicing roots, and quirns for grinding the dried pulp 
into flour. But cultivators need not work on a large scale. They 
can grow the plants in small patches and utilize the roots either 
for eating them fresh, or converting them into flour by such simple 
processes as we nave described. If a capitalist is to launch out 
on an extensive scale, he must use machinery for slicing, pulping, 
pressing and grinding. If one were to grow Cassava on a moderate 
^cale, say, on five or ten acres of land, one must use such simple 
machinery as a turnip-slicer, a turnip-pulper, a cheese-press ad a 
small grinding mill to cope with the work of harvesting. The 
cultivator will need nothing that he cannot easily procure in his 
own village, or even in his own cottage ; gamlas, and dao and 
dhenki, and a couple of big stones, are all the special appliances 
required. 

For later information, see Booth Tucker in the ' AgriculturalJournal of 
India." 



342 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

The next question one would be interested in is, how to make < 
use of the produce when one has got it. Tapioca-pudding is 
used as a nourishing food by Europeans, but this would not pro- 
bably be relished by Indians. But tapioca-meal can be used in 
place of arrowroot. Jt is more nourishing than arrowroot. Cas- 
sava flour is still better as an article of food suited to Indian taste 
as it caji be utilized in making various articles of food which we 
are ordinarily in the habit of eating. Out of Cassava flour may 
be made chapatis, puris, malpoas, halua, puddings, and biscuits. 
Et does not make very first-class chapatis, puris, and biscuits, but 
it makes excellent malpoas, and halua, and Cassava-pudding 
tastes nicer than tapioca-pudding. The chapatis are very palat- 
able, but they are a little too elastic, though quite soft. For 
making dough, hot water should be used ; otherwise Cassava flour 
and wheat flour are used exactly in the same way. In making 
halua out of Cassava flour the syrup has to be made first over a 
fire, with sugar and water. When the syrup is somewhat sticky, 
a proportionate quantity of Cassava flour mixed up with water is 
put in. The flour should be mixed up with the syrup by prompt 
stirring. When the colour of the flour changes, a little ghee and 
almonds and pistachio nuts are to be added and the mixture kept 
stirred for another few minutes. The halua thus made keeps long 
and it tastes very much like Muscat halua. In making 100 tolas 
of halua 13 tolas of Cassava flour mixed with 40 tolas of water 
should be used. The syrup is 'made with 40 tolas of sugar and 20 
tolas of water. Ten tolas of ghee and an anna's worth of almonds 
and pistachio nuts are used for giving the halua a rich taste. It 
is a cheap and delicious sweetmeat. Frozen with ice it is further 
improved. In making biscuits, three-fourths Cassava flour and 
one-fourth wheat flour should be used. 

The Cassava roots could thus be variously used, arid the 
poorest and the most epicurean can make use of them either in 
their fresh state or manufactured into flour. The well developed 
roots weigh 2 to 5 Ibs. each, and they can be eaten either raw or 
cooked (i.e., either boiled, or fried in chips or curried). As a 
drought-resisting crop, as a heavy yielder, as a nourishing food 
stuff which is easily manufactured, we do not know anything 
which comes up to Cassava. 

The roots tasting quite nice when raw, are very liable to 
the attack of rats. Some arrangement must be made for poison- 
ing Tats if the crop is to be secured undamaged and undiminished. 

Of other drought-resisting root-crops, may be mentioned 
the 61, yams and a bulbous vine grown at Kalimpong called Ish- 
kosh. The 61 of Bolepur, Santragachi and Geonkhali are famous. 
Of yams may be mentioned an African yam which is grown at the 
Sibpur Farm and which is almost gs good as potatoes. The ele- 
phant's foot yam of Malabar is also famous. The leaves of Ish- 
kosh are eaten by cattle, while the edible roots sometimes weigh 
oue to two maunds from under each vine. 



ARROWROOT. 343 

CHAPTER LXXV. 
ARROWROOT. 

THE arrowroot is extracted from the bulbs of various plants : 
(1) The common Bermuda arrowroot is obtained from Maranta 
arundinacea. This is the common arrowroot which we have 
seen growing at Alipur and in some Jail gardens. The plant grows 
2 to 3 ft. in height ; the flowers and the tubers are white. (2) The 
Brazilian arrowroot extracted from cassava roots which we have 
already described. (3) There is another variety of arrowroot 
grown chiefly in Queensland from a Canna, the flowers of which 
are beautiful bright scarlet, not unlike Indian shot flower. The 
plants of Canna edulis grow 8 to 9 ft. in height and from a single 
stool 15 to 20 stalks come up, each stalk bearing a big bulb. Sixty 
to eighty pounds of bulb are often extracted from a single stool. 
The starch or arrowroot extracted from this plant is known as 
tous-les-mois. Rich alluvial jungle land, or river or creek banks 
suit this plant best. It is also grown in open countries on rich 
deep soils. It prefers a more sandy soil than the ordinary arrow- 
root, Maranta arundinacea. The bulbs are sold in Queensland 
for 2 lOs. per ton and the arrowroot extracted from it sells at 
about Qd. a Ib. Ordinary arrowroot prefers shade, and the bulbs 
of this are planted about a foot apart in the lines and l ft. from 
line to line. In growing Canna edulis, burn the jungle, make holes 
6 or 7 ft. apart in rows and 4| ft. from each other in the lines. If 
a plough can be used, ploughing and pulverising and trenching six 
inches deep and planting 4| ft. apart of single bulbs, should be done, 
the rows being made 7 ft. to 8 ft. apart. As the land gets poorer 
by cropping, the rows should be made closer, but never closer than 
6 ft. apart, the hilling or earthing once is all the subsequent opera- 
tion needed. The roots are dug up from December to February, 
i.e., nine months after planting, the planting being done in March 
or April. Ordinary arrowroot does better planted in May or 
June. 

A good test for ascertaining when the ordinary arrowro'ot 
bulbs are ready for harvest is to observe at the outer leaf of the 
bulb a triangular slit pointing downwards ; if the slit is white 
the bulb is still immature ; as soon as it turns purple it is ready 
for harvest. It can be left for two seasons as sugarcane is some- 
times left. 

Each day's digging must be operated on on the same day. 
Every day of exposure to sun and weather has an injurious effect 
upon the colour of the manufactured starch. Twelve to forty 
tons of tous-les-mois bulbs per acre are obtained if the plants are 
5 ft. by 6 ft. apart. 15 to 30 cwts. of starch per acre is the average 
produce. Up to 4 tons have been obtained. The price of arrow- 
root in the London market varies, but an average may be taken 
as 15 per ton. If machinery is used 10 to 30 cwts. of arrowroot 
can be extracted per day. For a mill capable of turning out 30 



344 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

cwts. of arrowroot per day, the following appliances are neces- 
sary : one root-washing tank, one elevator, one grater or grinding 
mill, rotary sieves, shaker sieves, one chute, one agitator, one 
centrifugal pump for draining water from vats. Tables and 
calico for drying the roots are raised to the highest part of the 
building. The cost of erecting an arrowroot mill is about 
Rs. 18,000, plus Rs. 3,000 for a drying and storing shed. 



CHAPTER LXXVI. 
BAMBOO, GREWTA, MAT-GRASS AND RUTSA-GRASS. 

Bamboo. Alluvial loam and clay are the best soils for the 
growth of the thicker kinds of bamboo, and gritty soils for the 
thinner mountain varieties. There are various classes of bamboo, 
the four commonest ones growing in Bengal being the B/idlki-bins, 
the Ber-bdns, the Kdntd-bdns, and the Taltd-bdns, the Bhdlki-bdns 
being the strongest, longest and thickest of the four. The two 
bamboos grown cornmonlv in Bihar are the Chap bamboo which is 
hard and solid and the Kdyji bamboo which is soft and hollow, 
though thicker. For making mats, baskets, etc., the Taltd-bdns and 
the Kdyji bamboo are the best. The Kdntd-bdns is also very strong 
and long, but it is full of spinney branches, and it is very inconven- 
ient cutting out of clumps and stripping. On the whole, the Bhdlki 
and the TaUd-bdns are the best to cultivate. Forty or fifty years 
after sowing (if seed is used) bamboo trees seed and die. The 
bamboos propagated from root-cuttings and sterns, seed at the 
same time as older bamboos from seed, and where seeding takes 
place in a particular variety of bamboo, all the clumps of that 
variety in a particular locality die off simultaneously. The seed 
(which is eaten like rice) should be collected at this season and 
carefully sown in prepared seed-beds and transplanted to renovate 
the stock. Naturally manv of the seed take root in forest-lands 
and produce a fresh growth of bamboos. Bamboos are ordinarily 
propagated from stocks or culms dug out with roots. Bamboos 
that break when young and bend down on the ground and throw 
out roots, are the best to choose for propagation. Bamboos may 
be artificially bent down on the ground while in the clump, say in 
September, and the following June it will be found they have sent 
down roots into the ground and become fit for making cuttings. 
They may be then cut into sections, carefully uprooted and trans- 
planted in June. In moist localities the planting of bamboos 
should take place in May, and in dry regions of Chhota Nagpur 
and South Bihar in July. Planting twenty feet apart is advisable. 
The holes made in the field two or ^hree months beforehand should 
be filled with rotten dung, before the cuttings are planted. In 
the first year in the dry season, i.e., from November to June, 
occasional watering will be required, but afterwards only an 



BAMBOO, GREWIA, MAT-GRASS AND RTIISA-GRASS. 345 

application of silt one year, and of ashes the next, in April or May. 
From the fifth year the ripe culms can be cut, two or three being 
cut out of every clump in the fifth year, and the number gradually 
increasing to eight or ten every year. November to February 
is the proper season for cutting the bamboo. A clump of bamboo 
will go on yielding for 40 or 50 years (unless seeding takes place 
in the meantime in bamboos grown from cuttings), if the clumps 
are kept manured as described above. \n acre of bamboo may 
yield Rs. 100 in the fifth year and Rs. 200 per annum after the 
tenth year. A clump may yield up to 20 bamboos per annum, 
and the average after ten years may be put down at ten. In 
Burma more solid bamboos than even the BJtalki-ldns are obtain- 
able. Young shoots of bamboo are eaten as a delicate vegetable. 
In Orissa and the Central Provinces the wood of Grewia restrict 
(Dhdmin or Kulita) is used as a substitute for bamboo for making 
banqis. The toughness and elasticity of this wood is remarkable 
and its propagation is recommended also. For making bows, 
shafts of carriages and other similar purposes, the wood of Grewia 
vestria is likely to prove most useful. 

Mat-grass. This is one of the most paying crops grown in 
Bengal, chiefly in ihe districts of Midnapur, Burdwan and in 
some of the districts of E. Bengal and Assam. In Midnapur, it 
has taken the place of mulberry in the Sabong thana, the .soil 
on which this crop is grown being the same sort of soil on which 
mulberry does best, riz., clay-loam above inundation level. If the 
silkworm crop is a success, then only an acre of mulberry yields 
a return of about Rs. 300, and the cost of mulberry cultivation 
is rather high. The cultivation of mat-grass costs about Rs. 45 
per acre, but the gross outturn comes to about Rs. 300, and the 
return is certain. The root-cuttings are planted in May and 
June. Preparation of land commences in the previous November 
when the land is dug up with a spade, and weeds carefully picked 
out. As soon as there is good rain in May or June, the land 
should be ploughed up and levelled with the ladder, and the 
trenches should be made six inches deep and one foot apart. The 
toot-cuttings are planted along these trenches nine inches apart in 
regular lines and in planting the trenches are levelled up. In July 
and August two weedings are needed. In October and November 
the flower-stalks appear and attain a height of about four feet, 
when they are sold off as a standing crop to mat-weavers. After 
the stalks have been cut away, the land is manured with silt 
from the bed of tanks or nullahs. In February or March the 
silt is heaped up on the sides of the land, and when dry and 
aerified sufficiently it is spread out in April, after giving the land a 
superficial scraping with kodalis. 

When the flower-stalks are cut from November onwards, 
they are left on the land for three or four days, the flower heads are 
then rejected, and the stalks are each split longitudinally into two 
or four parts with a knife. The pith of thick stalks is scooped out 



346 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTUEE. 

and rejected also. For making high class fine mats, the split pieces 
are put in water and afterwards further split. 

If the scraping of the land and putting on of silt is continued 
annually, the crop will continue to yield the same profit for ten 
to fifteen vears. 

Ruisa-yrass. Andropogon schcenanthus, known as Agyd ghas 
or Gandha-bend in Bengal and as Ruisa-grass in Southern and 
Central India, is of various kinds, all aromatic, but some so beauti- 
fully aromatic that the oil extracted from the seed-heads is 
exported to Constantinople where it is said to form the basis for 
the manufacture of attar of roses. The best Ruisa grasses are 
known as Motia arid Sophia, Motia being the best. It is collected 
from jungles in Khandesh, Baroda, Malabar and Hyderabad, and 
the oil is distilled from the seed, 1,000 seed-heads being put into 
the retort at a time, the retort being an iron vessel with a wooden 
lid, whence the essential oil is distilled out into a bottle. An 
experiment conducted with 373 Ibs. of the grass yielded 1 Ib. 5| oz, 
of oil. In Western India the oil is sold locally for Rs. 10 a pound. 
It is considered a medicine for rheumatism, but it is chiefly 
extracted for export. It is a grass well worth cultivating, and 
experiments have been recently undertaken IB Bengal. The grass 
is eaten by cattle also, and it imparts a fragrance to the meat 
and milk of cattle living on this grass. 



CHAPTER LXXV1I. 

ORANGES. 

THE four principal localities in which oranges are largely and 
regularly cultivated in plantations, are Sylhet, Sikkim, Delhi and 
Nagpur. Orange cultivation has been also successfully under- 
taken in the Bamra State, in the district of Sambalpur, where in 
some hills oranges are found wild. We get five different varieties 
of oranges from the five localities, the differences being, no 
doubt, due to difference in climatic conditions. A moderate 
degree of cold during a fairly prolonged period, say from Novem- 
ber to April, is needed for the proper growth of the trees and the 
proper formation of fruits. We have known of persons taking 
the trouble of importing along with orange seedlings from Sylhet 
as much soil as practicable to give the seedlings, as they thought, 
a good start in the soil of Calcutta. But it is the climate and 
not the soil that makes the difference. A plantation of orange 
trees should be protected from any strong breeze, specially strong 
sea breezes. Screens of living forest are the best. The soil should 
be well drained and above inundation level, and fairly rich, that is, 
richer than soils chosen for growing timber trees. If chemical 
analysis is possible, it should be ascertained if the soil chosen 
is particularly rich in lime and phosphates. Nepal cultivators 



ORANGES. 347 

put bones of animals in the hollow where an orange tree is trans- 
planted. If the soil is riot particularly rich in phosphates, this 
method should be followed. The holes where orange seedlings 
are transplanted should be made pretty wide, say 5 or 6 ft. in 
diameter, though they need not be made deep as the roots of the 
orange tree do not penetrate very deep into the soil, but have a. 
tendency to spread laterally. Rotten manure should be put in 
the holes in addition to whole bones. The planting should be done 
fifteen to twenty feet apart, in regular lines. Seedlings do better 
ultimately than grafts, though the latter bear fruits earlier. Mature, 
full grown and early fruits from the topmost branches should be 
gathered for seed. Only those pips should be chosen which are 
round and large, flat and shrivelled seeds being rejected. The 
seed should be sown in drills three inches deep. The seed-bed 
should be protected with mats, in the usual way, from sun and 
rain. The seedlings should be left for two years in the seed-bed 
before they are transplanted. Transplanting should be done at 
the dormant period of the plants, i.e., when only old leaves abound 
on the seedlings and when growth is not going on vigorously. In- 
jury to roots, specially the tap-root, should be avoided as much 
as possible, in lifting the seedlings. Water-logging at the base, 
after transplanting, must be avoided, or else the seedlings will 
sicken and die. As there is always some injury to roots at the 
time of transplanting, some of the branches and most of the leaves 
should be cut off at the time of planting. October and November 
are better months for transplanting than June and July. In the 
former case, however, irrigation or watering will be needed until 
next May or June. The other operations that help growth of the 
plants are hoeing and mulching (straw or litter being applied). 
Mulching protects the plants from the effect of excessive heat 
and drought, and also prevents caking of the soil. The mulch 
should be applied after the hoeing, and watering should be done 
over the mulch. 

We have no very superior varieties of orange in India. The 
seedless orange ot California is the best variety to grow. Seed- 
less oranges are found in Sylhet also and in Japan. These must 
be propagated by budding or grafting. The importation of thia 
variety and its acclimatization by budding or grafting on the 
wild orange of the country, are desirable. The net profits from 
an acre of seedless oranges in California often come up to 250 to* 
300 dollars (about Rs. 800) per acre, and there is no reason why 
some Indian planters should not make a new departure in this- 
direction. 



348 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

CHAPTER LXXVEII. 

INDIA-RUBBER AND GUTTA-PERCHA. 

[Profitableness of tho rubber growing industry ; Experiments all over India ; 
Principal sources ; Difference between rubber and gutta-percha ; Solubility 
in carbon-bisulphide ; Para rubber ; Ceara rubber ; Uie-tree rubber ; India- 
rubber ; Coagulation with alum water; Method of propig-ition of each 
variety.] 

THE output and consumption of India-rubber are annually 
increasing by leaps and bounds, and Rs. 200 to 250 per maund 
mav be usually expected as the price of the product, and the annual 
production per acre about two maunds. Experiments are going 
on briskly all over India and Ceylon, and in Ceylon and Mysore 
very large tracts of land have been put down under rubber. The 
principal sources of India-rubber are Africa, Central and South 
America, Ceylon, Assam and Burma. Rubber is the hardened 
latex of several families of tropical plants, and any plant which 
exudes large quantities of white latex on the leaves or stems being 
injured, ought to be looked upon as a possible source of rubber 
supply. The common sij-manasa (Euphorbia nerifolia) and other 
Euphorbiaceous plants yield abundant quantities of latex which 
can be readily converted into rubber by addition of alum water. 
Gutta-percha is the hardened latex from large trees belonging 
to one family onlv. viz.* Sapotacese. Rubber does not soften 
in moderate heat like gutta-percha does. Rubber is impervious 
to water, most acids and gases and it retains for a long period its 
original elasticity and strength, while gutta-percha becomes soft 
and plastic in hot water, retaining any shape given to it on 
cooling when it becomes hard and rigid. Rubber is soluble 
in carbon bisulphide, and the solution is used for repairing 
cracks. 

Para rubber. The most valuable rubber is the Para rubber 
obtained from Hevea hraziliensis, a South American tree*, which 
is thriving very well in Cevlon in low elevations. In tho Straits 
Settlements also Para rubber is flourishing. In the Madras and 
Bombay Presidencies and in Northern India the tree is not growing 
well. In five years after planting in suitable conditions the 
Para rubber is fit -for tapping. The tree may attain a height of 
60 ft. and a girth of 6 to 8 ft. The wood is poor, soft and 
perishable. The seed is very oily and on this account easily gets 
rancid and spoilt. It was, however, despatched from Ceylon to 
the Kew Gardens all right, packed in canvas bags only, and it 
travels better, packed in moderately dry soil or cocoanut fibre. It 
is propagated also from cuttings and stools or green shoots. 
The tree grows in well-drained soils, beyond the reach of floods, 
although in South America it was believed at one time to grow on 
swamps. This is, however, a mistake. The rubber is brought 
down through a swampy and malarious region from high and dry 
localities, and merchants in the coast had a mistaken idea it 



INDIA-RUBBEA ANt> GUTTA-PERCHA. 349 

grew in swamps. The latex is alkaline, and the addition of a 
solution of ammonia preserves it indefinitely from ^spontaneous 
coagulation. In favourable localities 120 to 140 Ibs. of Para 
rubber are obtained per acre per annum after the seventh year. 
The tapping commences sometimes on the sixth year, when 
each tree yields about 10 ounces. If 300 trees are planted 
per acre, as much as 188 Ibs. can be obtained out of an acre 
from six-year-old trees, but 300 per acre (i.e., when the trees 
are planted 12 ft. apart) are too many, when the trees are older, 
and they have to be thinned out. At 5$. a lb., the yield per acre 
(130 Ibs.) would be about Rs. 500, and the margin* of profit may 
come to half this amount. 

Ceara rubber is the product of Manihot glaziovii, a plant which 
resembles the cassava, though it attains a height of over 30 ft 
The experiment of growing this in Ceylon, where the rainfall was too 
great, failed, but in Mysore the experiment is succeeding very well, 
in the seventh year as much as live Ibs. of rubber being obtained 
per tree. The rubber is a little less valuable than Para rubber 
The bushes can be also grown for their roots which yield a valuable 
staich like the ordinary cassava. Ceara rubber is growing success- 
fully at the Rajnagur Garden in Darbhanga and it is likely to do 
well in South Behar, Chhota Nagpur and Orissa. 

Ule tree rubber, which is almost as good as Para rubber, is the 
product of Castilloa Elastic a (belonging to the Moracea?), a Central 
American fast growing tree, allied to the bread-fruit tree. It is 
easily propagated from seed or cuttings. Seven or eight-year- 
old trees yield 1 to 2 Ibs. of milk per annum, 25 per cent, of the 
milk being pure rubber, separated by centrifugal machines. This 
tree has been also introduced into Southern India and Ceylon, but 
experiments so far have not given very encouraging results, 
Castilloa milk flows more freely and does not coagulate readily, 
which is a great advantage when a centrifugal machine is used. ISo 
return can be expected within eight years after planting. The 
Castilloa successfully introduced inW Ceylon in 1876, is the Castilloa 
Markhamiana, from Darien (Panama). They flowered in 1881. 
The growth since 1886 has been slight. It does well in warm, 
steamy, alluvial localities and does not do well in elevated tracts 
nor in swamps. The temperature should never fall below COF., 
the rainfall should not be below 70 inches, and it should be well 
distributed. It should be planted in sheltered places near streams, 
but where the land is well drained. The seeds should be sown in 
a well prepared nursery, one inch deep and eight inches apart, and 
lightly covered with vegetable mould. The nursery should be kept 
lightly shaded and watered, and in ten or twelve months, when 
the seedlings are two feet high, they are planted out. Cuttings 
from main sljoots (not lateral branches) also take. Planting should 
be done twelve inches apart and the plants left in shade for two or 
three years. Weeding and watering have to be done until the 
plants can take care of themselves. When trees have attained a 



350 HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 

girth of 2 ft. or 2 ft., they can be tapped. Cuts should be 3 ft. or 
4 ft. apart and not 1 ft. apart as in Para rubber trees. Five ounces 
per tapping may be obtained, and three or four tappings per 
year. 

India-rubber is the product of Ficus Elastica, Artocarpus 
<Chaplasha, Artocarpus Integrifolia, and Alstonia Scholaris. The 
last is .a large tree which grows 60 ft. high in the dry forests of 
Ceylon, Singapur and Penang. 

In a Ficus Elastica plantation, 35 years old, the average yield 
per tree per year is 600 grammes of solid rubber. The variation 
in yield, however, is very great. One tree may yield 100 
grammes, another 12 kilogrammes. The average yield of Castilloa 
rubber in the same plantation (the plants being eight years old) 
is 200 grammes of solid rubber per tree per year. But as there 
could be about four times as many Castilloa trees planted in the 
same area as Ficus trees, the difference in favour of the Castilloa 
is decidedly considerable. Castilloa rubber is also more valuable 
.and it can be gathered from much younger trees. 

It is from the Government Forests of Ficus Elastica in Assam 
that much of the India-rubber (not Ceylon rubber) is derived. 
The latex is collected during the dry months. Eight oblique cuts 
are made with the dao, sloping downwards at a little distance from 
one another, so that eight mud-pots can be tied round the tree 
one below the other. These remain on the whole day. The cuts 
should not be deep, as the milk is secreted just below the outer 
bark. A great number of incisions should not be made on each 
tree as they weaken and ultimately kill the tree. The incisions 
should be made only on the main stem, the lowest one being made 
four feet from the ground. 

An ounce of powdered alum should be taken in a tea-cupful 
of water and mixed well. A few spoonfuls of this solution should 
be put into each vessel containing about 3 pints of the milk after 
straining the milk from extraneous matter. The milk will coagu- 
late immediately, the rubber^is then exposed to air on sticks and 
.allowed to drain for a week. After a month it is ready for the 
market. 

The price has varied from Rs. 20 to Rs. 250 per maund within 
the last 20 years. A full grown India-rubber tree fifty years 
old yields, at the very lowest/ five seers of rubber each time, if 
very carefully tapped, and this quantity may be expected about 
16 times in 16 successive years, which is a safe estimate for 
calculating the yield of a rubber tree. At the rate of ten trees 
per acre, the yield comes to 20 maunds of rubber per acre in 
16 years, valued at Rs. 4,000, while an acre of timber at Rs. 10 
per tree would bring only Rs. 500 or 600. It is only Government 
or very rich landlords who can afford to wait for 30 years before 
the return comes, but the propagation of India-rubber^ trees 
should be always kept in view by Managers of Government and 
Court of Wards estates, where immediate return need not 



SERICULTURE, 



351 



be looktd for. The seedlings may be grown either on mounds, 
or as epiphytes on other trees. The (jooti or <jnl knltim system 
of propagation is also largely practised. 



CHAPTER LXXIX. 

SERICULTURE. 

[Various classes of silkworms under Attacid;c and Bombyeichx' ;" 'The mulberry 

fW feeding silkworms ; The tusser worms ; Three main classes of tusser, the 

J^I Larva, Bujjui and Daba ; The method of rearing; The reeling of tusser 

cocoons ; The varieties of mulberry ; Propagation of mulberry from seed 

and cuttings; cost of planting mulberry ; Out turn of leaf; Tree- mulberry ; 

Rearing of mulberry silkworms; Keeling of mulberry cocoons; The Silk 

fibre; Diseases of "silkworms ; Pe brine, Muscardine, Klacherie, (Jatine, 

(Jrasserie, (Vmrt, Double-cocoons; The fl\ -pest ; The Dennestt-s vnlpinus ; 

The Eri silkworm and the spinning of Eri cocoons, i 

Various classes of silkworms are reared, some indoors and 
some on trees in the open, which spin cocoons, out of which silk is 

obtained of various classes. 
Silkworms fall under two 
main groups the Bom- 
hyudw and the A ft adder. 
The former make reelabie 
cocoons and the latter un- 
reelable ones, which have 
to be carded and combed 
and spun into yarn, like 
cotton. The mulberry feed- 
ing silkworms and the tusser 
silkworms of commerce all 
come under the Bombyn<la\ 
while the Eri silkworms be- 
long to the Attacidaj. The 
Aliaats Atlas (Fig. 67), 
which is the largest cocoon 
of all, out of which ccme 
the most magnificent 
moths, are unreehiblo wild 
cocoons. 

The mulberry feediny 
silkworms, which are the 
most profitable of all to rear, 
are divided into the follow- 
ing groups: (1) the Bombyx 
mori (Fig. 68), or the 
annual silkworms reared in 
FIG. 67.-ATTACU8 ATLAS COCOON. Europe, China, Japan, 




352 



HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 



Kashmir and some of the Western Asiatic countries ; (2) 
the Bombyx textor, the Barapalu, the annual silkworm] of 
Bengal, the cocoons of which are flossy and not hard like the 
Bombyx mori cocoons, and the eggs of which do not require such 




FIG. 63. BOMBYX MORI COCOONS ^IIUNG VP FOR SEEDING. 

(The vessel underneath is for maggots of 

the parasitic fly to drop in and 

ace una nl ate.) 



SERICULTURE. 



353 



intense cold as the eggs of Bombyx mori for their hibernation ; 
(3) the Bombyx Arracanensis of Burmah and the Barapdt of Assam 
are closely allied to the Bombyx textor ; (4) the Bombyx Meri-* 
dionalis of Mysore and Kollegal, which yields seven or eight crops 
of cocoons in the year instead of one, the cocoons being greenish- 
white and almost as good as Barapalu cocoons ; (5) the Bombyx 
Crcesi (Madrasi or Nistari), the golden yellow cocoons, which 
breed eight times in the year in Bengal and which produce very 
fine and soft silk ; (6) the Bombyx fortunatus (the Deshi or Chhoto- 
palu), a brighter yellow cocoon of Bengal containing a larger pro- 
portion of -stronger silk than the Bombyx Crcesi silk ;* and (7) the 
Bombyx Sinensis or the China cocoons, which are the smallest 
yellow cocoons of all, reared in Midnapur. There is a white variety 
of Bombyx Sinensis also reared in Midnapur, .which is called the 
Bulu ; (8) the Theophila cocoons found on the mulberry trees in 
the Himalayas are wild (Figs. 69 and 70). 





FIG. 70. MOTH OF THEOPHILA HUTTONI. 



FIG. 69. WILD 
THEOPHILA HUT- 
TONI SILKWORM. 

The tusser cocoons are also divided into several groups, of 
which the Anther ia Yamamai of Japan (Fig. 71), which yields 
a greenish-white silk, somewhat rougher and coarser than white 
Bombyx mori or Bombyx textor silk, is the best. The Anther ia 
Pernyi (Fig. 72) or the China tusser, comes next. The Antheria 
Assama or Mug a of Assam is just as good as the China tusser. 
The Antheria mylitta or the Bengal tusser proper, comes last. 
The tusser of China and Japan is reared on oak-trees. The Muga 
of Assam is reared on the Sum (Machilus odoratissima), the Sualu 
(Tetranthera monopetala), the Mejankuri (Tetranthera polyantha), 
M, HA ?3 



354 



HANDBOOK O* AUKlCULTURE. 



the Champaka (Michelia champaka) and other trees. The Bengal 
tusser is reared chiefly on the Asan or Sdj tree (Terminalia tomen- 
tosa), a tree which can be freely pollarded, also on sal, arjuna, sidka, 
dhau, baer, country-almond and other trees. The moths from tusser 
cocoons come out very irregularly, especially when the cocoons are 
large and strong, some coming out within three weeks of their 
formation, while others may not come out for two years. This 
accounts for tusser rearers choosing thin and small cocoons for 
seed, as eclosion of moths from such cocoons is more regular. 
An experiment conducted by the author, showed that large and 
hard cocoons can be used for seed, if the chrysalids are extracted 
from the cocoons and kept exposed or buried in saw-dust. This 
is one important step which can be taken in ameliorating the 




FIG. 71. -ANTHKRIA YAMAMAI COCOON. 

condition of the tusser silk-industry, which is going down on 
ascount of disease. The use of genuine wild cocoons for seed is 
another step. 

There are three main classes of Bengal tusser, the Narya, the 
Doha and the Bugui. (I) The Narya (Pig. 73) is obtained out of 




FIG. 72. ANTHERIA PERNYI COCOON. 

the small sized cocoons, generally wild, though domesticated 
cocoons are often fraudulently sold as wild cocoons. Prom the 
wild or domesticated Dhuria or summer cocoons of June are ob- 
tained, an Ampatia or flimsy crop of cocoons (Fig. 74) in July and 
August, and from this Ampatia crop is obtained the regular crop 
of the year, the Barsati crop, in October (Fig. 75). A Jaddui or 
cold weather crop (Fig. 76) of Narya is also sometimes taken ; but 
it takes nearly three months taking a Jaddui crop. (2) The Doha 
is now always taken from the domesticated stock and not from 



SERICULTURE. 



355 



the wild stock, but it can be taken and ought to be taken from 
the wild stock, though, being the strongest breed of all, the domes- 
ticated Doha does not give such hopelessly bad results as the 
domesticated Narya. The origin of the Doha cocoon is probably 
the Muda-Muga cocoon (Fig. 77), i.e., the large wild cocoon that 
does not cut in August or September of the year they are formed, 
but in the following June or July. In September or October such 
large and uncut cocoons can be picked out in Mts from among 
pierced seed-cocoons, and they ought to be looked for and reserved 
for seed till next June, when moths will come out of them, lay 
eggs as in the case of other tusser cocoons, and give an Amvatia 





p IG . 73. WILD LARYA 
OR NARYA COCOON 

(Dark, Small, Hard, short 
and thick Fed uncled). 



FIG. 74. AMPATIA LARYA 
COCOON (FLIMSY COCOON). 



(Fig. 78) and a Barsati (Fig. 79) crop of healthy Dabas. Some 
of the largest and hardest Barsati cocoons can be reserved for 
seed till the following June, and the domesticated breed kept on 
until disease appears among the stock, when the wild stock must be 
resorted to again, in the manner already described. (3) The 
origin of the Bugui (Fig. 80) is the large-sized wild tusser cocoons 
(called Bar-ra, see Fig. 81), out of which moths cut out usually 
in September. It yields one crop of cocoons in November and 
December. Thus Bugui breeds once in the year, Ddba twice, 
and Narya three times. The cocoons obtained from October to 
January are the best, and those from July to September are the 
worst. When the Barsati cocoons are selling from Rs. 8 or Rs. 10 
a kahan ( = 1,280 cocoons), the Ampatia Naryas or Ddba-s would 
sell for only Rs. 2 to Rs. 3 per Jcahan. 



356 



HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 



The method of rearing of all the three classes of cocoons is the 
same. The moths begin cutting out of cocoons about 4 P.M. At 
9 or 10 P.M. the male moths fly away. About 3 A.M. those or 
other male moths come to the female moths. To facilitate the visit 
of the male moths, the rearer must keep his females out of doors 
(usually they are kept perched up on bow-like sticks) and watch 
them against the attack of bats, birds, lizards, etc. The moths 





FIG. 75. BARSATI LARVTA COCOON 
(Small -sized, Hard Cocoon). 



FIG. 76. JADDUI LARYA COCOON 
(Light-coloured, Long Peduncled, 
Small-sized Cocoon). 



remain paired till about 4 P.M., when they either separate 
themselves or are separated by the rearer, the females being kept 
pinned down in leaf receptacles, and the males given to domestic 
fowls. The eggs are collected after three days, and kept in smaller 
leaf receptacles, the eggs of two or three moths (about 500 eggs) 
being kept in each receptacle. On the ninth day the eggs hatch, 
and as soon as they hatch, they are gut out on trees in which they 
are secured by pinning them on to leaves. The trunks of trees 
should be brushed clean of ants and other insects and afterwards 



SERICULTURE. 



357 




Fro. 77. MUD-A-MUOA COCOON. 




TS.-AMPATIA DABA COCOON. FIG. TQ.-BARSATI DABA COCOON. 



358 



HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 




FIG. SO. Buoui COCOON. 



they are each given a circle of Bhela oil to protect the worms 
from the attack of ants, etc. To each tree about half a dozen to 
a dozen of seed-receptacles are pinned on at different places, that 
the whole of the tree may get covered with the worms and not 
any particular part of it only. The trees have to be kept low for 
facility of watching the insects against ants, wasps, birds, squirrels, 

a bug called chdn- 
yd, a mantis, 
scorpions, centi- 
pedes, a large 
carabid beetle cal- 
led chhabundia, 
and other vermin. 
In this matter 
great care is 
necessary. The 
principal epidemic 
from which the 
tusser silkworm 
suffers, is gras- 
serie (Fig. 82), 
which is a disease 
which is produced 

readily, both among tusser and 
mulberry silkworms by feeding them 
with leaf, thinner, i.e., sappier, than 
leaf that the worms have been 
eating hitherto. As sap rises from 
the ground, a heavy shower of rain 
makes the greatest difference of con- 
sistency in the leaf in the case of 
short trees. No worm should be 
kept on branches within four or 
five feet from the ground, or such 
branches should be lopped off from 
the very first. For tusser rearing 
the annual pollarding should be so 
done, that all the branches may be 
above five feet and below ten feet 
from the ground, that grasserie 
may be avoided, while the worms 
may be kept under close supervi- 
sion. A stick with bird-lime 
(peepul tree gum mixed up with 
warm mustard oil and kept covered with a bamboo tube when not 
in use) ought to be always in the hand of the rearer, that he may 
effectively scare away wasps and birds. A bow and pellets of 
mud are also of great help. In tusser rearing localities, one scarcely 
sees a bird, the watch kept by the rearers being so strict. When 




FIG. 81. BAK-RA COCOON. 



SERICULTURE. 359 

the leaf of one tree is eaten away, the branches are lopped off with 
the worms in them and transferred to another tree, or several trees, 
and this continued until the cocoons are formed. When the 
cocoons are all formed, they are brought down with the adhering 
branches of trees, carefully separated from the branches and sold 
off in hats. When they cannot be sold so readily, they must be 
killed. For killing the cocoons, they are put inside a kulsi (earthen 
pot), and inside the mouth of the pot a few sticks are inserted, so 
that when the pot is upset with its mouth downwards, none of the 
cocoons may fall out. The pot is then put in this reverse condition 
over another in which water is boiling over a fire. In about 
half an hour all the cocoons are killed with the steam rising from 
the one pot and going into the other. They are then dried in the 
sun and kept for reeling. The effect of domestication of tusser 
cocoons are : (i) the cocoons 
tend to get smaller, (2) they 



get lighter and lighter in 
colour, (3) the silk gets finer, 







G 







O gT 

O c 

O 



<3 



Q 







o 



O 
o 











(4) the peduticle gets longer 
and longer, (5) the worms get 
more and more subject to 
disease. Domesticated cocoons 
are preferred by weavers, as 
they produce the whitest and 
finest cloths. 

The reeling of tusser cocoons 
is done by patent processes in 
the European factories in 

Bengal, soda or potash being 

the chief solvent ingredient in Pl0t 8 2.-MicRoscopic APPEARANCE 
use. A single person can reel OF GRASSERIE CRYSTALS (x 600). 
off the silk from 250 tusser 

cocoons a day in European factories. The native process 
consists in boiling the cocoons in water to which ashes of Asan, 
Kenja, or other tree or plant (such as linseed plant ashes), 
are added, or saji. For five hundred cocoons about half a seer 
of ashes are used, or half a chhitak of saji. A refined method 
would be the using of lye instead of the crude ashes. The lye 
may be obtained out of the ashes by repeatedly passing the water 
through the ashes kept over a piece of calico, until the water looks 
oily in appearance. The cocoons may be boiled in this lye for 
about an hour. All cocoons are not softened equally by the boil- 
ing, and those that do not work off easily while they are being 
reeled, are kept separate and boiled the next day with a fresh lot 
of cocoons. Large and hard cocoons require stronger alkali and 
longer boiling. When the cocoons have been boiled, they are 
kept in a pot between folds of a cloth over some ashes, and reeling 
commenced at once. One day's cocoons are boiled in the morning, 
one person being able to reel from fifty to one hundred cocoons a 



360 



HANDBOOK OP AGRICULTURE. 



day. The reeling is done with a latai on the right hand, and with 
the left hand fibres from three to five cocoons are twisted on the 
thigh, while the latai is being wound round with the right hand. 
As fifty to one hundred cocoons are reeled and twisted by the 
same operation per day, this primitive method cannot be regarded 

as a very ineffective 
method of preparing 
the raw material for 
the loom. Usually 
the spinning of tusser 
cocoons is done in the 
weavers' families, and 
it is never done bv 
the rearers. \ kuhnv 
( = 1,280) of cocoons 
produces from three 
quarters of a seer to 
two seers of silk ac- 
cording to quality of 
cocoons used. 

The mulberry tree 
grows wild all along 
the Himalayas from 
Kashmir to Assam, 
and the mulberry silk- 
worm known as Theo- 
phila, is found abund- 
antly on these trees. 
The variety of mul- 
berry found in the 
Himalayas is very 
large. From the 
gigantic Moms serrata 
to the dwarf Morus 
indicti, the gradation 
is slow. Some have 
soft succulent leaf, 
others rough, spiney 
leaf ; some have a 
large and abundant 
supply of fruits, others 
drop their blossoms 
and are hardly ever 
known to fruit. Varie- 
ties with large-sized 
leaves set close to one another on stems, smooth and thick with 
gummy sap, and bearing little or no fruits, are the best to choose 
for silk worms. The Moms alba, variety Icevigata, Is one of the 
best varieties to choose. The mulberries in common use in 




Fiu. 83. MULBERRY TREE PRUNED AND 

STRIPPED FOR TRANSPLANTING. 



SERICULTURE. 361 

Bengal and Mysore are the Morns alba, varieties indica and 
sinensis. The former known as Pheti or Sultani tunt is the better 
variety of the two, the gum of the leaf being thicker. It ha 
more planate leaves, and it requires more manuring and cultiva- 
tion to keep it in condition. The Moms sinensis (the Kajli or 
Chini tunt) has thinner and sappier leaves, but it is hardier. It is 
quite suitable for worms up to their fourth moult, but after- 
wards, i.e., when the worms are well out of the moult and quite 
strong, they should be given the stronger Morns indica leaf. 
These two varieties do not grow into very large trees, and one of 
the chief improvements that could be introduced into the Indian 
industry is the introduction of Morns Icevigata or some other similar 
superior variety of mulberry, suitable not only for rearing the poor 
Bengal cocoons, but also the superior Bombyx mori cocoons. 
The tree system of propagation of the mulberry is also more 
natural and healthy. Trees when once grown up cost little 
keeping up, while the shrub-mulberry planted eighteen inches to- 
two feet apart costs about Rs. 75 an acre to maintain. 

Propagation of mulberry may be either from seed, or from 
cuttings, or from grafts. Trees grown from seed produce leaf 
which like Morus indica is not quite suitable for rearing worms 
at the last stage. Morus Icvvigata, Morus Philippinensis, the 
European Morus alba and other superior varieties of mulberry can 
be readily grown from cuttings, and propagation is done usually 
from cuttings only. The Japanese mulberry, however, does not 
grow from cuttings, and it is grafted. Though the Japanese 
mulberry answers to all the requirements of a first-class mulberry r 
it is no better than some of the best Indian mulberries, and there 
is no occasion to introduce the Japanese varieties in India, For 
growing any mulberry from seed one precaution is necessary. 
Before sowing the seed it should be put in camphor water in a 
stoppered bottle for an hour, and then sown. Germination is 
otherwise very partial. Mulberry seed is smaller than grains of 
mustard, and seed for a large tract of land can be easily sent through 
post from one country to another. When the seedlings are grown 
up, propagation may go on from cuttings, and thus the first cost 
of setting up a plantation saved very much. When cuttings are 
available, propagation should be from cuttings. When trees are 
sought to be propagated, there should be a nursery on high irrig- 
able land, well dug up, manured and cultivated and protected 
with ditches and fences. The cuttings or seedlings should be 
planted in the nursery nine inches apart, and transplanted on to 
fields, when eight or ten feet high, at a distance of twenty feet* 
While transplanting, all the full formed-leaves should be nipped 
off and all branches within 5 feet of the ground rejected (Fig. 83). 
Leaf from seedling trees should not be given to worms in their 
last stage. 

The cost of starting a mulberry plantation of the shrub-kind 
is abotit the same as starting a mulberry nursery for trees. In 



362 HANDBOOK OP AGRICULTURE. 

ihe former case, the cuttings are planted about eighteen inches 
apart instead of nine inches apart and four or five cuttings planted 
At each spot instead of one. The cost of establishing a mulberry 
nursery, one acre in area, for the first two years, is given below : 

Rs. A. p. 

(1) Wages of 90 men employed in digging the field with 

spades in the cold weather, at 3 as. . . . . 16 14 

(2) Ditcning and fencing (by piece-work) . . . . 30 

(3) Cost of 12 ploughings, the plough-man with bullocks 

and ploughs being hired, at 4 as. a day . . 900 

(4) Cost of getting 30 loads (about 30 mds.) of mulberry 

stalks in September, at 4 as. . . . . 780 

(5) Wages of 15 men making cuttings at 3 as. . . 2130 

(6) Wages of 15 men making hollows in regular lines ... 213 

(7) Wages of 45 men planting cuttings . . . . 870 

(8) Hand-hoeing in October by piece-work . . . . 180 

(9) Cutting away the first shoots in December . . 180 

(10) Ploughing afterwards . . . . . . 300 

(11) Cost of putting tank-earth as manure in April . . 15 

(12) Ploughing in May .. .. .. 240 

(13) Irrigation (if necessary) in May . . . . 15 

(14) Weeding in July .. ". . .. .. 300 

(15) Cutting away of stumps in August or September . . 180 

(16) Ploughing in September .. .. .. 180 

(17) Digging with spades after the November lund . . 780 

(18) Two years' rent .. .. .. 12 



141 3 

Expenditure in connection with items Nos. (10) to (18) has 
to be incurred annually, i.e., about Rs. 75. 

Outturn. The first crop of leaf which is ready in November 
or December when planting is done in September, or in April 
when planting is done in February, is cut away, as the leaf is very 
thin and sappy and not very suitable for silk-rearing. The crops 
bund by bund that are obtained afterwards are : 

A alue. 
24 maunds of leaf (with stalks) in January Rs. 24 



36 
48 
60 
45 
45 



March 

June 

August 

November 

December 



30 
24 
30 
90 
45 



Total 258 maunds Total value Rs. . . 249 

An cre of mulberry from the third year, when it is well estab- 
lished, usually yields 300 maunds of leaf with stalks, which is 
sold as a standing crop, cocoon-rearers buying it up and cutting 
it away from day to day. The purchase at the above prices is 
usually on credit, and often the buyers, when they lose their crop 
of Silkworms from diseases, are unable to pay the price of mul- 
berry. The mulberry grower aijd the silk rearer are therefore 
both'interested in the eradication of diseases. From 300 maunds 
of leaf 600 seers (l,2001b.) of fresh cocoons are obtainable as the 
maximum result per acre. The value of this quantity of cocoons 



SERICULTURE. 



363 



may be as much as Rs. 600. The profitableness of sericulture 
when loss from disease, etc., may be kept down, can thus be easily 
imagined. 

Tree-mulberry. When rearing is done with leaf from large 
mulberry trees, the seedling or cuttings planted should not be 
touched for the first five years as the leaves go to nourish the 
trees. They should be protected for the first three years at least 
with gabions, or with a rough envelope of coarse grasses and thorns 
that injury from cattle may be avoided. If whole bones are put 
underneath the trees once in ttventy years, and the soil under- 
neath the trees annually dug up in November, the trees will always 
remain in condition. Two pluckings are possible annually, the 




FIG. 81 MULBBRRY SILKWORMS IN VARIOUS STAGES (ONK SILKWORM BEING SHOW 

WITH A PARASITIC FLY DEPOSITING NITS ON IT). 

first in February or March, and the second in October or November, 
as some leaves must be left to nourish the trees. In the fifth 
year when the first picking of leaves takes place, each tree will 
yield about ten seers of leaf at each picking, or half a maund in the 
year. By the tenth year, the yield will gradually increase to a 
maund per tree. The maximum average yield per tree, may be 
put down at two maunds, which result will be attained after about 
twenty years . But the divergence in the yield or leaf is great accord- 
ing to the variety grown. The quantities mentioned will be readily 
yielded by Morns Icevigata, Morus Philippinensis and the ordinary 
European Morus alba, but not by Morus Mica or Morus 
sinensis. Every other year the branches of the trees should be 
pruned off, so that the new shoots coming on with a more 



364 



HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 



vigorous growth of leaves, can be readily bent, and the leaver 
picked with the help of a crook without climbing. 

The rearing of mulberry silkworms (Fig. 84), and of Endi 
or Eri silkworms indoors on bamboo dalas, proceeds on much 
the same method. Leaves (castor leaves in the case of the Eri 




Fio. 85. FECUNDATION AND OVIPOSITION OF ENDI OR ERI MOTHS. 

silkworm) are put on the newly-hatched worms, cut up very fine; 
the worms with the leaves separated from the eggs after three or four 
hours,, and put separately at the lowest shelf of a machan (called 
ghara in the silk districts). The eggs hatching the next day are put 
higher up in the machan, and the third day's worms still higher 



SERICULTURE. 365 

up, after which usually no more notice is taken of the eggs, except 
in the case of the Barapalu eggs, in which the hatching is much 
more tardy. The worms up to the last moult are usually fed five 
times a day at regular intervals. At the last stage the worms 
are fed three or four times a day. The worms moult or change 
their skin four times during this interval, i.e., from hatching to 
spinning of cocoons. Inside the cocoons the worm moults twice, 
once in changing into chrysalis and the second time in changing 
into a moth. Inside the cocoons and as moths they eat nothing. 
As moths they pair and lay eggs (Fig. 85), and after a few days die 
off. Strong and healthy moths may live for a fortnight after laying 




FIG. 86. THREAD-NET FOE CLEANING AND THINNING SILKWORMS. 

eggs ; but a moth dying within a day or two after laying eggs may 
be healthy and their eggs fit for rearing. As leaves are heaped 
up to dalas by repeated feeding, cleaning becomes necessary. 
Native rearers neglect cleaning at least in the early stages. But 
neglect in this matter and in the matter of keeping the worms 
thin in numbers, and the room well ventilated (though the worms 
themselves must always be kept away from a current of air), 
result in worms dying in large numbers specially at the last stage. 
Keeping the worms thin in numbers and clean and the room well 
ventilated (though in even temperature) and free from dust, is 
necessary from the first. Cleaning and thinning of the worms are 
facilitated by thread nets (Fig. 86) of meshes of about half an 
inch. A net is spread over the worms resting on dirty leaves, fresh 
leaves (cut up fine at the two early stages and whole leaves with 
stalks being put from the third stage) scattered over the net, and 
after half a minute the net may be removed to another dala. This 
has the effect of separating the worms evenly into two lots. Nets 
are to be used for cleaning whether the worms need thinning or 



366 



HANDBOOK OF AGRICULTURE. 



not. A dala of newly-hatched worms have to be divided up into 
three dalas after the first moult, into nine dalas after the second 




FIG. 87. CHANDRAKI OR SPINNING SCREEN. 

moult, into 27 dalas after the third moult, into 81 dalas after the 
fourth moult, and at the last stage the worms occupy twice as 



SERICULTURE. 367 

much space (i.e., 162 dalas) before they make cocoons. Daily the 
net from a dala with the worms and litter are to be lifted at the 
mid-day feed, removed on to a fresh dala, and the older dala re- 
moved outside and thoroughly cleaned. If, however, worms are 
found underneath the net, they must be assumed to be moulting. 
They should not then be disturbed, but kept on a lower shelf on a 
separate machan where no feeding should be done for about 24 
hours. The worms on the net removed to a fresh dala are to be 
given a feed and then left without food for about 24 hours. Great 
care is necessary at moulting periods. The point to remember 
is, it does more harm giving food to moulting worms than fasting 
them for a few hours until the worms are well out of moult, which 
is known by their agility and hungry look. If on blowing over 
the worms they move very fast, one knows they are properly out 
of moult. If, on the contrary, the movement they exhibit is of a 
dull and listless kind, they are not quite out of their sickness, and 
they should be still left without food. An extra feed at the time 
when the worms are going off to moult does not do them much 
harm ; but feeding too early does harm. Experience is needed 
in this matter. 

Worms in the same room should be all of the same age, as 
much as possible. That is why tardy worms are kept high upon 
machans, and early ones lower down, both at hatching and at 
moulti